I have a cup. Jeromy has a cup.
Jeromy’s cup is green and has footballs on it. It’s large and manly, with a big girth but not so tall. He rarely drinks out of it.
My cup is tall. It’s red, white, and blue and matches the nauseating patriotic scheme of the front entryway to our house. I drink out of it every morning.
I didn’t have a cup until last month when Jeromy came home from work one day and caught me drinking out of his cup.
“Why are you drinking out of my cup?” he asked.
“Because, one, you never use it, and two, I don’t have a cup,” I said from behind the steam of my pomegranate green tea.
He left, and two hours later, my new ceramic stars and stripes model showed up.
Do I like it? Not really.
It’s tall like the cup – my favorite cup – I used to have, but it’s ugly, as is the front entryway to our house.
My old favorite cup was decorated in swirls of orange and deep red and an off-white color. It held just the right amount of coffee to start my day. It was my cup, and I enjoyed it.
I sold my cup before leaving for Thailand. It was hard. I hated parting with it, just as much as I hated when Jeromy ended the above conversation with, “And why don’t you have a cup? Ohhhhh, because you sold your cup to go to Thailand.”
I don’t like sarcasm such as that directed toward me about as much as I don’t like my star-spangled cup.
However, I am content with the fact that my new cup holds my morning coffee, is not decorated with footballs, and does not scream, “Man Cup! Man Cup!” I also am content with the fact that I sold my favorite cup in obedience to what God told me to do. I’ll happily drink out of my tacky patriotic vessel.
Jesus had a cup. I’m pretty sure his wasn’t decorated with footballs or orange and red swirls or stars and stripes, but he did hint about not particularly liking it: “He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, ‘O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me;’ …”
That’s sort of how I felt when Jeromy handed me the red, white, and blue cup. But Jesus’ cup was WAY uglier than that, and his cup wasn’t filled with steaming pomegranate green tea or creamy Dunkin’ Donuts hazelnut coffee every morning.
Still, he was content with drinking from it, “… nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will (Matthew 26:39 NKJV).”, because God gave it to him.
Just as Jeromy gave me my cup as a gift, God also gave Jesus his cup as a gift. And some ugly-looking gifts we just can’t return – not even if we hate them so much that we resolve to stand in line at the Wal-Mart customer service desk for four hours on a sunny Saturday. Nope, it won’t do a bit of good to even try – because the price stickers have been torn off, and the receipt has been thrown away. We just have to be content with those gifts and make the best of them.
I know I enjoy drinking my morning coffee from my ugly mug a lot more than Jesus enjoyed hanging on a cross for me. I’ve decided to keep my cup, and I’m so thankful Jesus kept his, too.