The sacraments passed out, I stilled my heart in prayer.
I never wanted to take the Lord’s Supper casually—it was too great a sacrifice by Him, to not consider it and the condition of my heart seriously.
The solemn nature of communion had always held a reverent place in my heart since childhood. So much so, that when my family visited an extended family member’s church where communion was taken weekly, I asked permission to abstain because for me, it felt irreverent reducing it to a weekly ritual. My adult perspective has changed, but nonetheless, even as a child the deepest part of me wanted to keep the most intimate act of the Savior with His disciples and with us sacred.
And then it happened.
I set the cup down for a moment to reposition myself in my seat and focus my mind. In as quick as a heartbeat, the cup tipped over and out flowed the wine.
His blood that had been spilled for me on the cross, was now spilled in front of me as I had never before seen it.
A trail of wine representing his shed blood ran in front of me, as tears ran down my cheek.
I was powerless to stop it, just as I would have been powerless to stop Him.
I quickly reached for my purse, grabbed a tissue, and sopped up the blood-colored wine.
The red-stained cloth immediately took me back to a night in ICU. My husband had just gone through a 20-hour surgery, in which we had been prepared that he would have a one in four chance of dying on the table. Every minute of those hours felt like a year in itself, as we waited for the doctors to return with news of his well-being.
When the doctor finally emerged from the surgical doors to say I could go in to see him, relief washed over me. Yet no one prepared me for what I would see.
The first thing I saw was the stark contrast of the pool of red blood beneath him on the white hospital floor. That was all I could handle before growing faint. Held up by the strength of a friend, my eyes drifted up from that morbid sight to see my husband lying in a hospital bed, with tubes and wires coming from every opening in his cancer-wracked, surgically-invaded body. But beeps and whistles gave testimony to the fact that he was still very much alive. That night I sobbed with gratitude for a life still to be lived.
As the music played, my attention was drawn back to the holy practice of communion. As I lost myself in the red-stained cloth, I imagined one other body: that of my Savior, nailed to a cross, his blood poured out for me so that this time, I might live.
“The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).
I had partaken in communion countless times in the decades since accepting Christ as my Savior. Never before, however, had the sacrifice of His shed blood made such a profound impact on my heart. I won’t ever see it the same.
As you contemplate His blood poured out for you, how does that impact your heart today?
(If you have a question you’d like Dr. B to answer, contact her here now. Your name and identity will be kept confidential.)
A short brief about Hope Prevails.
Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey through Depression
Dr. Michelle Bengtson
Speaking from personal and professional experience, a neuropsychologist unpacks what depression is, shows how it affects us spiritually, and offers hope for living the abundant life.
Neuropsychologist Offers Hope to Those Struggling with Depression
-By 2020, depression will be our greatest epidemic worldwide
- An estimated 350 million people worldwide suffer from some form of depression
- As with the bestselling My Stroke of Insight, the author experienced the same condition she treats
- Helpful features include personal stories, biblical truths, prayers, and music recommendations
In Hope Prevails, Dr. Bengtson writes with deep compassion and empathy, blending her extensive training and faith, to offer readers a hope that is grounded in God’s love and grace. She helps readers understand what depression is, how it affects them spiritually, and what, by God’s grace, it cannot do. The result is a treatment plan that addresses the whole person—not just chemical imbalances in the brain.
For those who struggle with depression and those that want to help them, Hope Prevails offers real hope for the future.
Hope Prevails is available now wherever books are sold. To find out more, see: http://drmichellebengtson.com/hope-prevails-book/.