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Sunday, February 2, 2014

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!
As I find my place at the feet of my shepherd, I am filled with a 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. As I worship I lean in closer to Jesus and rest my head against his loving arms. Looking up at the clouds I begin to count my blessings.
First and foremost, 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 that fill my spirit to overflowing levels of delight. I then look around and 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 during 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 for granted. I must always give consideration to 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 emotion I feel when I reflect on any one blessing brings joy to 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, and sometimes it gets harder. 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 blessing and we drink from our overflowing cup of God’s endless love for each and every one of us.
I am aware that some people are struggling to survive on every level. Jobs have been lost, food is scarce. Some are cold and have no bed to sleep in. Burdens are heavy and emotions are raw. But the Shepherd sees their need. Sometimes God’s answers are so simple they go unnoticed by most of us. Even the homeless seem to survive. Not of their own doing, but their survival comes from the hand of God. However, we must not forget that God uses those who have to give to those who have not. We must find ways and be willing to deliver a cup of cold water when God tells us to give or go.


  1. In your mind are you feeling forgotten by God?
  2. What are you struggling with?
  3. Are you in a “wait” holding pattern as you long for change in your circumstance?
  4. Do you need refreshment as you continue to wait?
  5. When was the last time that you visited God’s table of blessing and expressed gratitude?
  6. What do you think about asking God for a fresh anointing of his Holy Spirit every single day?
  7. What is God asking you to do regarding those in need?

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. I thank you Lord, because my plate is full and my cup overflows. I thank you also for the amazing 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. Give me a heart of gratitude. This day I accept your antidote for self pity and ask you for a fresh anointing of your Holy oil of joy so I can go out with joy and face life in “the shadow of death” with confidence and peace deep in my heart. Help me to remember that even in the darkest of days you are still able to minister to my spirit. For this blessing I also give thanks.
In your name I pray. Amen.