Are Ye Able?

But Jesus answered and said, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” They said to Him, “We are able.” Matthew 20:22 (NKJV)

“Are Ye Able, said the Master…”  This old hymn has been running through my head for over a month after I read the above scripture in my Bible in January.  I was curious as to what day I started humming this tune, and flipped back through my journal to locate the verse. I was very surprised when I found out the exact day.

I follow the one-year Bible reading plan found in the Our Daily Bread devotion booklets.  On January 31, the New Testament reading was from Matthew 20:17-34.  In this passage, the mother of Jesus’ disciples James and John came to Him to request her sons sit beside Jesus in His kingdom.  Jesus replied, “You don’t know what you ask.  Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink…?” 

As I read this, my mind immediately went to the old hymn by Earl Marlatt (1925).  The first verse cries out:

“Are ye able,” said the Master,
“To be crucified with me?”
“Yea,” the sturdy dreamers answered,
“To the death we follow Thee.”

That morning, before the day began, I wrote Matthew 20:22 in my prayer journal along with this short prayer, “O Jesus, I want to be able. Please make me able by Your great power and Holy Spirit.” And I wrote the last verse and chorus of this great hymn:

“Are ye able?” Still the Master
Whispers down eternity,
And heroic spirits answer,
Now as then in Galilee.

“Lord, we are able. Our spirits are Thine.
Remold them, make us, like Thee, divine.
Thy guiding radiance above us shall be
a beacon to God, to love, and loyalty.” (Marlatt, 1925)

Later that very morning, while doing home school with my son Joel, I happened to glance at my phone (which I usually ignore during home school) and noticed this text from my daughter Kallie about our granddaughter, “We are in an ambulance on our way to Milwaukee. They think Kennedy has pneumonia.” 

But it was not pneumonia, it was something much worse, cancer, T-cell Lymphoma in a little three-and-a-half-year-old girl.  And I cried out to the Lord, “No!”  And, “I’m not able!”  And, “Take me, not our precious granddaughter.”  I wanted to collapse in a puddle of tears, and sometimes I do, following Jesus’ example in John 11:35.

But I’ll tell you who has been able…little Kennedy and her parents.  Kennedy has endured more pokes and pains in a month than most people have in a lifetime.  Her mom and dad have taken this in stride and encouraged Kennedy and trusted their doctors, where I would be falling apart.  Thank you, Jesus, for making them able.

We don’t get to choose our stories or trials, this is the one we get to walk through today.  And so I pray again, “Lord, make me able. Help me be a strong grandma for Kennedy and fight this battle on my knees in prayer. Help me be a beacon to all who are going through trials. Please heal our sweet Kennedy.”  

“Please heal her, O God, I pray!” Numbers 12:13 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Perhaps you are not feeling able to face what is happening in your life today.  Pray to Jesus for help.  Claim all His promises.  He will make us able and see us through even this. 

Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV)

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 1 John 4:4 (NKJV)

And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:3-4 (NKJV)

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

Talitha, Cumi

Then He took the child by the hand, and said to her, “Talitha, cumi,” which is translated, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” Mark 5:41 (NKJV)

 

“Talitha, cumi. Talitha, cumi. Talitha, cumi.” Over and over I prayed for my granddaughter as I worked all day.  “Talitha, cumi. Little girl, arise.”  Just as Jesus spoke to the daughter of Jairus in Mark 5 and she got up and had something to eat.  I wanted that for Kennedy who at just short of 4 years of age has T-cell lymphoma cancer. 

Late in the afternoon on the day of praying I had a text message from my daughter saying Kennedy was re-admitted to the hospital with a blood clot in her leg.  She would need two shots a day in the stomach to prevent more blood clots during her chemo treatments.  Oh, what a thing to endure for someone so young.  Kennedy is braver than I’ll ever be.  “Talitha, Cumi.”  I keep on praying.  “Talitha, Cumi.  Little girl, arise.  Do your miracles, Jesus!”

Two days later Kennedy had a PET scan to check the mass that was pressing on her heart and lungs a month ago.  The next day her delighted parents found out the results…the tumor is gone!  Not a trace of the mass that had covered one-third of her chest cavity.  All praise be to God!  Yet we still await results of a bone marrow biopsy, and the medication Kennedy had for a month has left her with no hair or muscles, leaving her unable to move from the sofa.  And so I keep praying, “Talitha, cumi, Talitha, cumi, Talitha, cumi.  Little one, arise.”  And I keep trusting Jesus for more miracles.

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Read the miraculous healing stories of Jesus in Mark 5:21-43.  Are you like the bleeding woman who needs healing?  Or do you know a child who needs your prayers for healing?  Pray, “Talitha, cumi.”

…“Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.” Mark 5:34 (NKJV)

Then your light shall break forth like the morning,
Your healing shall spring forth speedily,
And your righteousness shall go before you;
The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Isaiah 58:8 (NKJV)

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

 

Shining in the Darkness

Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.
Psalm 119:1-5 (NKJV)

As the days grew shorter in the latter part of summer, I had a more difficult time squeezing in my running workouts before breakfast on the long-run days.  One Sunday my workout said to run 24 miles, as I was training for my first marathon.  In order to get in such a long run and still make it to the second church service, I needed to leave at 5 a.m. Setting my alarm for 3 a.m. I got up to have my TEA time with Jesus.  But by 5 a.m. it was still dark out, so I took a flashlight and put bear bells on my ponytail.  The big flashlight was a little cumbersome as I made my way down the highway in the last hour before dawn, but I was thankful for the light, pushing aside the darkness, pointing out any stumbling blocks, and shining into the distance to alert possible travelers. 

And I started to think, “Hmm…this would make a good devotion,” as I often do when I’m running and praying.  My flashlight was lighting the highway just as God’s Word lights the path we should take.  We have to get into His Word and read our Bibles every day so we can have this light.  Jesus is the light who came into the world and now His Spirit lives inside us. 

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 8:12

Now as the autumn days grow even shorter, I have the same trouble I had in August, trying to squeeze in just a short run before breakfast.  It is still dark at 7:30 a.m. So once again, I pull out my flashlight and shine it into the darkness.  But soon I will have to give up the outside runs to darkness and snow, visiting the gym where I hope I can shine for Jesus, too. 

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.  Matthew 5:16 (NKJV)

Another day I was having my quiet time and God showed me this verse…

The people who walked in darkness
Have seen a great light;
Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,
Upon them a light has shined. Isaiah 9:2 (NKJV)

The funny thing was that when I was reading this verse, our power was out and I had only a little flashlight to illuminate my Bible.  I think of how one single candle and many mirrors could light up a room.  Help me be that candle or mirror and reflect your light to a world in darkness.  Thank you for shining Your light into my darkness.  Keep shining Jesus!  Keep me shining!

He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love. Colossians 1:13 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Dear TEA friend, use your quiet time this morning to recharge your batteries.  Read your Bible. Let God’s Word kindle that spark in your heart, shining out through your eyes and smile and hands and actions to a world that so desperately needs the light of Jesus.

The entrance of Your words gives light;
It gives understanding to the simple. Psalm 119:130 (NKJV)

If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you might also like A Runner’s TEA CUPP and My Light TEA, Or today’s devotion from Our Daily Bread which I just noticed is on the same theme with another powerful story.

 Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain. Philippians 2:14-16 (NKJV)

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.