Overflowing Nurture

April 11, 2006
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Psalm 23:5-6 – You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (NIV)

It was the Easter weekend, and I was a student far from home. Anxious to see more of California, I took off along with two friends to visit San Francisco. We pitched camp on Good Friday at a resort bordering a river. We were told that there was a beautiful path following the river, winding through the trees. So, on Easter Sunday, taking with us a Bible, some bread and wine, and three glasses, off we went to explore, hoping to find a perfect spot down by the riverside.

Walking through overhanging branches, we came to the perfect spot. Sitting on the river bank, the only sound the bubbling waters, we read appropriate Scriptures, then on breaking the bread and sharing the wine, we cried together. It will remain in my memory one of the most moving times of spiritual blessing, a time when God nurtured our souls, when my cup overflowed.

It is true: goodness and mercy do follow us all the days of our lives, but usually in small amounts, gently filling us. But then, every once in a while, we experience those memorable times of spiritual nurture that fill us to overflowing. Later — often much later — we kneel in awe, realizing the truth of God's presence. A bountiful table is constantly prepared for us. Goodness and love really do follow us all the days of our lives. Why then does it surprise us when the Lord fills us to overflowing? We used to call such moments a serendipity — an unexpected happening. What if we were to start each new day expecting God's many blessings?

The nourishing presence of God makes every day a Sabbath, as we dwell in the house of the Lord. Our bodies are His temple; our memories are an anthem of praise. How much more wonderful will be such feasts in heaven, when we are sitting beside the river of water of life, under the tree of life all laden with its twelve kinds of fruit, being fed in the loving presence of our Lord! (Revelation 22:1-2)

Prayer: Lord, we are enthralled whenever we gather with our brothers and sisters in Christ around such an awesome table. Thank You for filling our cup to the brim. As it overflows, tears fill our eyes. Forgive us for all those times when we looked only at the enemies that have come between us and kept us away from You. We want to sit with You, listen to Your Word, and be filled up with Your peace and joy. Thank You for welcoming us to Your side. Through Jesus' precious and powerful name, we pray. Amen.

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Iris Ford

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