You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
~ Psalm 23:5-6
You know the old saying, 'pessimists see the cup as half empty, optimists see the cup as half full.' With the economy waivering, unemployment at an all-time high, food and gas prices climbing daily and the weather behaving in strange, deadly ways, it gets harder and harder to remain hopeful. Let's face it, some days watching the news will convince you that the cup is just plain empty.
But despite the news, I encourage you to remember that God has filled that cup, and not just half-way, but to overflowing. Psalm 23 was written for people on the verge of hopelessness. Enemies are pursuing and the path is leading into the valley of death. But guess what? You're not alone on the path! God is there with you, guiding you. And on the other side of that Death Valley is a green pasture with still water. At God's green pasture He has a feast prepared for you, and He annoints you as the honored guest. Your cup is never empty, never even half-empty or half-full but OVERFLOWING!
I don't know if you've ever experienced a drive through a desert valley. I have. After miles and miles of the same gray landscape, you wonder if it will ever end. You begin to forget what grass and trees look like. The utter lack of anything can really make you feel anxious -- what if the car breaks down or runs out of gas? But then right at the heighth of your anxiety, you cross over a mountain pass and laid out before you is a lush, green landscape bordered by a river or lake sparkling in the sunlight. It makes your soul sing.
This is the image that God wants you to hold on to. No matter what this life throws at you, God is waiting right around the corner with a feast. Hold on to hope. Hold on the Faith. Feel the deep, reassuring Peace of knowing that God has it all under His control. We can't see what the future holds. Your current view might be desert: wandering endlessly in a bad marriage, troubled children, addictions, unemployment, unfulfilled dreams, strained relationships, a lack of faith, etc. I've been there. But I fear no evil -- really I don't! Instead, I am filled with the encouragement of Hope for the future. I know there is a feast waiting for me, in this world or the next, and I can't wait to get there! My cup is not half empty, nor half full, but fully overflowing with blessings of hope, goodness, love, and peace. Hallelujah!