“You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” Psalm 23:5b
I remember standing in our field with my husband at sundown one day, thankfulness and grace and mercy and wonder flooding my heart-and I whispered, “surely my cup overflows!”
Surely, God’s hand is in this, is on our lives-He has brought us to this place of blessing.
And that’s how I used to always think of that verse-the cup overflowing with goodness and blessing.
But what about when the cup overflows with sorrow?
With tragedy, trials and temptations?
Jesus knew about that cup. That’s the cup He begged the Father to take from Him.
The cup that was bitter and hard to swallow.
He prayed three times, He sweat blood and He battled His flesh so that His spirit could conform to the Father’s will.
And in the end, He submitted Himself to the Father’s plan.
He was obedient, even to death, even to death that He did not deserve, did not HAVE to suffer, did not WANT to suffer.
I have buried a son.
And it is the most painful thing I have ever had to bear.
It’s a burden I never anticipated and it’s a burden of which I will not be free until I join him in Heaven.
There are some parents who have suffered the loss of multiple children. Or who have suffered child loss and other difficult life circumstances.
If my cup is full and overflowing, theirs is overflowing still more.
Where to take that full cup?
Where to find the strength to carry it, to drink it to the dregs?
When my heart screams, “No more!” and my body cries, “I can’t do this!”, I look to my Savior for the model of how to carry on.
Only in Christ, Who Himself bore the cup and Who drank its bitter fullness can I hope for strength and redemption.
The One Who knows my pain can carry my pain.
The One Who lives again will breathe life into my heart.
The One Who redeems what the enemy has stolen will turn my mourning to dancing.
This cup will not always overflow with sorrow. Around the banquet table at the wedding supper of the Lamb, it will once again be full of joy.
You make me know the path of life; in your presence is unbounded joy, in your right hand eternal delight.
Psalm 16:11 CJB