Pain: consuming, ever-present, sapping life, killing dreams, threatening sanity, making daily tasks a challenge . . . carrying inherent potential for soaking a soul in bitterness or sinking one into despair over prospects of future days.

But, like my Savior refused the gall – a drink promising numbness and escape as Jesus suffered on the cross – I refuse to drink from a cup that pulls me into a dark place. One that offers me a place of numbness, yet drags me into place of not trusting the God who is beside me.

I do not want to drink from a cup which gives credence as to why I should allow myself to sink into bitterness or despair. Offers false validity for living a life centered on self. Holds out reasons for giving up, yet leads me away from my Lord until all I am left with is a joyless, lifeless, empty existence.

O God, that will not be my choice this day. Rather I choose to drink from a different cup. I choose to drink of You, my Lord, drink your living water. Stand on your promises to walk with me, to never leave me, and to provide a way through my wilderness days.

This day, I choose to fall into your arms. To bring my overwhelming frustration, sense of hopelessness, grinding pain and lay it all at your feet. I choose to believe that my pain does not catch you unaware.

I choose to remember that I house your Spirit, on all my days. I choose to have faith that as I rest in and offer myself up to you, you can, and will, bring sustenance to my soul and hope to others.

Dear readers, on those days we choose to acquiesce to our surroundings, lean into and trust our Savior, may the words of 1 Peter 5:10 (LVB and NAS) be words of hope to our souls: After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace . . . will personally come and pick you up, set you firmly in place, and make you stronger than ever {perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.} 

May we believe our God is enough . . . on all our days.

Last Sunday morning as our congregation worshipped, I was stuck by some simple, yet profound words in a medley declaring who we believed Jesus to be: Lord, you are more precious than silver. Lord, you are more costly than gold. Lord, you are more beautiful than diamonds. And nothing I desire compare with you.

I stopped mid-stream and wondered, ‘Nothing? Is there nothing I desire, not even pain-free days, nothing that can compare with my Lord?’

No, for absolutely nothing in this world could ever compare with the God who is my Rock, my Strength, my Shield, my Redeemer . . . my sweet Lord and Savior on all my days.

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