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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Lapping Up the Blessings

“You prepare a table

before me in the presence

of my enemies:

you anoint my head

with oil;

my cup runs over.”

Psalm 23:5 AKJV

This morning I am thinking about all of the blessings that I enjoy even when it seems I am passing through “the valley of the shadow of death.” In spite of the many hardships that life so generously throws my way, God’s table of constant blessing is spread wide before me for my enjoyment. His provisions for my life are always there. I shall not want, I have all I need.

This morning I think that I will again leave the garden and cross over to the “table land”. The flat “table land” is the place that I want to be because my Shepherd is there. I will sit at his feet. He will pour onto my head a fresh anointing of the oil of the Holy Spirit. I have come to recognize that this oil is not only soothing it is essential for my survival in life. Every morning I find that I am in need of a fresh anointing of that oil. It occurs to me that I wouldn’t dare leave my home early in the morning without a fresh cup of coffee. It is something that I have come to enjoy and something that I need to get my juices flowing! Likewise, it is also ridiculous to think that I would ever consider beginning my day or leaving my home without a fresh anointing from the Holy Spirit. This anointing is what I need in order to guard my heart and protect my emotions as I begin my day in “the valley of the shadow of death.” Receiving this anointing is not only something that I need; it is also something that I enjoy. It sooths the spirit and is good for the soul!

Still seated at the feet of my shepherd I am filled with the sense of peace. I do not know what I will encounter this day but I do know the One who holds this day and everyday in his sovereign hands. I now move in a little closer to my Shepherd. I lean back and rest my head on his loving arms. I look up at the clouds and begin to count my blessings.

My most important blessing is the gift of eternal life. My second blessing is my relationship with my creator. My third blessing is my assurance that God will never leave me or forsake me. My fourth blessing is for the wonderful gifts of love, joy, and peace. I then marvel at all God has created to bring inspiration and delight into my life. If this was all there was in life, I would be truly blessed.

But for me there is more. God has blessed me with a wonderful loving family; I have shelter, food, and clothing. I also enjoy heat for the cold weather and air conditioning for the hot months of the year. There is electricity, running water, a bed with clean sheets, a car to drive, friends, a wonderful church, and the gift of creativity that I so enjoy. I really must stop here because the list just goes on and on. I’m sure you get the picture. I pray I will never take these blessings without due consideration of the fact that I am richly blessed and that all my blessings come directly from the hand of God.

Yes indeed, like a sweet soda that overflows the glass and spills onto the table and runs into the floor, such is my cup of blessings. My cup runs over and over and over! I am reminded that blessings do not stop during hard times. God does not pull the plug when we are down and out or things get tough. In the presence of my enemies God’s blessings still overflow. My plate is always full of good things.

I am overjoyed to know that my Shepherd desires to REFRESH me and one of the ways that he does this is through an abundance of blessings. It is impossible for me to think of a blessing without smiling. The joy I feel when I reflect on any blessing is an emotion of my soul. That joy is the perfect antidote for refreshing my weary spirit, my downcast head, my troubled heart, and my confused mind. Is life hard? Yes. Can we be refreshed in the midst of brokenness, pain, sadness, confusion, and concern for ourselves and those we love? Yes. How do we do this? We run to the “table” and we bow our head to receive the oil. We eat from our plate of blessings and we drink from our overflowing cup of God’s endless love for each and every one of us.


In your mind are you feeling forgotten by God?

What are you struggling with?

Are you in a “wait” holding pattern as you long for change in your circumstance?

Do you need refreshment as you continue to wait?

When was the last time that you visited God’s table of blessing?

What do you think about asking God for a fresh anointing of his Holy Spirit every single day?


Dear Shepherd,

Forgive me when I forget to acknowledge my blessings. The fact is, I have so many blessings that I can’t even write them all down. God, today I come to your table of blessings. Thank you that my plate is full and my cup overflows. I thank you also for the blessings that minister to my spirit. Your love and peace are indeed priceless! Even in the presence of my enemies your blessings are endless. Jesus, please guard my heart from depression and discouragement. This day I accept your antidote of joy and the anointing of your Holy oil so that I can go out and face life in “the shadow of death” with joy and peace deep in my heart. Help me to remember that even in the darkest of days you still able to minister to my spirit. For this blessing I give thanks.

In Your Name I Pray. Amen