I will fear no evil, for you are with me. Ps. 23:4
Bobo is a cuddly looking donkey whose main job is to guard sheep. I met Bobo one wintery day while visiting a farm. He was standing near a flock of sheep which were grazing contentedly at an outdoor hay feeder. Bobo looked quite placid and harmless. I could not imagine Bobo attacking a wolf or coyote. But apparently he can run down any canine, bite it, kick it, pound it, and chase it off. When Bobo is near the sheep, predators stay away!
Bobos owner, Mrs. J has noticed that the sheep thrive better when he is nearby; they are relaxed and calm. But when Bobo is gone, they get edgy; they wont eat or rest. Then when he joins them again, she can immediately see their bodies relax.
Bobo and his sheep remind us of the Twenty Third Psalm. The psalmist, David compares himself to a sheep who feels safe and secure. He knows his Mighty Guardian is nearby; so he has no reason to fear deprivations, evil, or death. Interestingly, those are among the most common causes of fear and anxiety - still today.
Of course Bobo cant provide everything a sheep needs. But for David, God could indeed meet all his needs. David wrote, I lack nothing. He also wrote, My cup overflows.
The cup here refers to the sum total of ones lot in life. For each of us that cup is half empty and half full. What matters is the half through which we see life. Those who see through the empty half will brew over what they lack or what might run out. Their conversation suggests that they always feel shortchanged. They always seem to notice what's bad. They live in a constant state of anxiety, distrust, and discontent. Like the sheep without Bobo, they seem on edge. They cannot enjoy the present because they harbor resentments from their past and they are anxious over the future. You feel drained by them. Because they see through the empty half of the cup, they cannot see the amazing depth of the full half. So they don't talk about it much.
Then there are those people who dwell in the full half; and you can tell! They can enjoy the present. Their eyes are fixed on the qualities of life that never run out - but rather grow richer - like goodness and love. And that's where their thoughts tend to dwell. These people are content, forgiving, and generous. The more blessing they give away the more they receive. You enjoy their company, and you feel renewed by them. In turn, you bless them by receiving from them and giving it back to them.
That would describe David.
David was convinced that no matter what happened, God was nearby to protect and provide abundantly. With God, life would never become empty and meaningless: God would always give him direction. (He guides me along the right paths). For David, life would always overflow with divine blessing. David lived in the full half of the cup and was confident that goodness and love would remain with him forever - even into eternity.
That, my friend, portrays a trusting faith in God. This is what I want for my life.
Perhaps you would like to join me in this prayer: Lord, living in this empty half of the cup is draining. It leaves me with little to give. I dont want to live here anymore. Help me learn to trust you anew so I can see life as an overflowing cup and discover the delightful abundance in your presence, protection, provision, and purpose. Amen