In Psalm 23, David says, “My cup overflows” in reference to his position under the blessing of God’s hand. There’s a popular song playing on Christian radio that talks about trying to take in the full scope of God’s blessing is like trying to hold the sea in a coffee cup. Both the Old Psalmist and his contemporary counterpart are expressing the same truth: God’s goodness and blessing in our lives cannot be contained.
Of course, that’s not just talking about the “good” times. But in all times -- God’s grace is ever present and always overwhelming. It just seems there are moments in life where we are better at seeing it.
Over the past several months, my wife and I have often sensed that we were receiving an out pouring of God’s goodness that was far too much for either of us to contain. My heart has been full to the brim, and gallons of God’s grace have fallen over as I have seen His greatness shine in ways I haven’t experienced in time’s past.
Here are just a few of those ways. Maybe as you read these, you will become more aware of God’s grace and goodness in your own life:
- Relationships: As we have made the move from Oregon to Michigan, God has overwhelmed me with the blessing of relationships. On the one hand, I have had my heart filled by the kind words, gracious gifts and incredible outpouring of love from those we have shared life with these past 12 years. It is one of the more humbling events in life, to hear people give testimony of how God has used you in their life. Humbling because you know it had to have been God’s work through you, because you know the struggles you’ve navigated at the same time. We all know our own imperfections (too well!), yet despite them (and sometimes through them), God does His finest work. And not only have we had the blessing of past relationships, we’ve also had the joy and anticipation of future ones. The new team we are beginning to partner with here in Michigan has been welcoming, excited for our arrival and gone above and beyond the call of duty to help us make our new home. On both ends of this whole adventure, God has truly made our cups overflow!
- Things: We know things will never fill us up, yet God shows His goodness, even in stuff. Again, we’ve seen this on both ends of our move. On the one hand, we have parted with so much of our stuff. We’ve sold or given away couches and beds and crockpots and tools and toys and shelves etc… and done so with minimal sadness. It’s hard to get rid of things, but it has been a joy to be freed from the burden stuff brings with it. On the other end, the camp has been so generous and gracious with us, providing resources for us to furnish our house. They put in amazingly soft carpet, and painted the whole interior according to my wife’s color choices. We showed up and they had all the necessities in place (plates, napkins, silverware, TP etc…) along with a table and refrigerator full of food. Our driveway was plowed and the house was warm -- a gracious welcoming that made us feel right at home. Once again, God has made our cups overflow!
- Travel: En route to Michigan we experienced weather like you would expect in late June. Roads were dry, snow was minimal (literally, just a few flurries as we crossed the Continental Divide in Montana!) and we experienced blue skies for the majority of our road trip. While temperatures were chilly, the traveling conditions were absolutely perfect. Along the way, we were able to connect with Traci’s side of the family tree, and enjoy making some special memories. The car didn’t have a single hiccup, and we got better gas mileage than we’ve gotten in quite some time. At one hotel, the manager kept the pool open for an extra 30 minutes so my kids could swim, because he took pity on our 13-hour road trip and having arrived at pool-closing time. Even in the details of our travel, the Good Lord made our cups overflow!
- Tears: Tears have been plentiful, on both sides of this trip. But through it all, we have drawn closer together as a family and have experienced an outpouring of love and support from so many of you! You will never know what your cards, emails, fb posts and texts have meant to us, but they have been used by God to bring tears of joy and to…make our cups overflow!
I could go on, but I think you get the point. I know that not all seasons of life are as exciting or joy filled. God gives us valleys and sorrows along the journey, too, that we might draw even closer to Him. Even in those seasons -- maybe especially -- the grace of God overflows in our lives. When we can’t sense God’s grace, it’s not usually because it’s absent, it’s because we’re looking for God to deliver it according to our terms, not trying to understand it according to His.
Right now, I’m enjoying mopping up the floor where God’s grace has run over. I’m very aware of His grace and it’s a great place to be. I hope I will continue in this space even as things return to “normal” and especially when the tougher times come. Thankfully, when I don’t see my cup overflowing I can know this one truth: God never changes. It’s not that my cup hasn’t been filled, it’s that I usually have my hand over the top!
Living the Overboard Life is always an adventure. But thankfully, it’s an adventure that gives us opportunity to see God’s grace in a new and deeper ways. What are you waiting for?
Go ahead and take the plunge…life is always better on the water!