Your Morning Coffee 08/14/2023
Welcome to your morning coffee! May our Heavenly Father remind us of the things of Him that we have forgotten. Father, please forgive me when I forget the way that you can refresh me and restore me in my daily life. You are so kind and generous to me but I so often forget to turn to you and hide in your presence. Father, please forgive me when I have no contentment with my life. When the day grows long with wanting something else, and stings with bitterness. You offer us the peace of contentment beyond understanding, if we would but seek you, trust you, obey you, and rest in you. Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus, and by the Spirit who comforts and guides us, call out to us today to remember who you are, and what you are offering us, so that we might entrust ourselves to you more. Amen.
Your Morning Song: "House of the Lord" by Phil Wickham
Your Morning Scripture: Psalm 23:5b
...you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
What does this mean, that God, our shepherd who leaves us wanting for nothing that we need, would anoint our heads with oil? Some have suggested that this anointing is similar to David's anointing as king. That it is a way of giving position and power.
But this is not the correct way to understanding this word. Culturally this would have been understood as a sign of refreshing a beloved guest, an act of generous hospitality. It was meant to comfort and encourage.
And this understanding of the word anointing fits what this Psalm is talking about. God does the giving and the refreshing. His is the position of power and rule and provision and correction. Ours is the position of receiving the benefits of all of these things.
What then about this cup that seems to be getting spilled? As a father of young children, the image of a spilling cup is not one that I would use to express how blessed I feel. And if we look at the Hebrew, there is more going on here than God simply deciding to keep pouring drink into a cup even though it is full.
Instead of "overflowing," which certainly is a strong physical image, the Hebrew phrase more conveys perfect fullness, contentment, and some have suggested (I think rightly) perfect saturation.
God's presence, provision, protection, and generous hospitality ought to leave us content beyond what anyone or anything else could do for us. This goes so far beyond simply being full to overflowing. God's blessings in us, to us, and through us saturate every area of our lives. This image is less about God's loving care for us spilling and splashing out of us, and more so about God's loving care filling every inch of our lives. Leaving no space in us unaffected by His loving, generous, hospitable care.
Anyone else struggle to remember this in their daily lives? I'm fairly certainly that I am not alone in this. I get caught up in the day, and my obligations and frustrations often blind me to my shepherd's loving, generous care.
Each Wednesday in the month of August I go to the Elderly Care Center here in town, and we have a brief time of worship together. We sing, we pray, and I share some encouragement with them from the Bible.
And these wonderful men and women put me to shame. They are so glad to be together, worshipping our God. I know that they are struggling with fear and loneliness. It is not an easy place to live. There is a sense both of forgetting and being forgotten.
And yet they sing. They pray. And many of them hide small tears of joy behind gentle smiles as we talk together afterwards. There is a contentment, a fullness, a peace-filled trust in them that I find deeply convicting, and also comforting. They are trusting God to do for them what they cannot do for themselves. They are trusting God to care more about them than they care themselves. They are trusting God to do more for them, in them, and through them, than they can do for themselves.
God is refreshing them and caring for them and sustaining them, even as they wrestle with pain, fear, and loneliness. This is the kind of God we have, the kind of shepherd who watches over us, whether young or old, or anywhere in-between.
He has welcomed into His presence now, and will make His welcome complete someday when He makes all things new. And in the presence of our God, we can be perfectly refreshed. And perfectly content. Without having to be perfect ourselves.
Run to God! Be refreshed! Run to God, and be filled!