Everyone I am sure has heard the philosophical discussion about whether the glass is half full or half empty. It is, as I myself have been told many times, simply a matter of perspective.
Optimists will say the glass is half full & Pessimists will say half empty. The cartoonist draws the conclusion that the glass is simply twice as big as it needs to be!
Do we see the issues of this life, and the challenges in a positive way or a negative way? Are we always thankful for what gifts we have been given? Do we even recognise some of these gifts?
In the book of Numbers, (Chapters 13 and 14) it describes the people of God on the verge of entering into the “Promise Land.” They suddenly found themselves, however, facing some rather huge challenges, as well as, some rather unusually huge people (giants), who were currently occupying the land the children of God were attempting to possess.
Their hearts became gripped with fear, as they began to focus on the giants of that land, instead of keeping their focus directly on God who was leading them there. He had already proven Himself faithful, having brought them safely up out of Egypt and delivered them many times from other challenges, difficulties and dangers during their time in the wilderness.
This bible account tells us, how out of more than a million plus people God was leading to the “Promise Land” only two, Caleb and Joshua, believed in and did not rebel against, or show contempt for God.
They chose rather to trust God to keep His promise, as He had done in times past. They believed He would deliver them from their enemies, and cause them to prosper, whenever and wherever He led. Only those two men, Caleb and Joshua, looked at the glass as half full.
The other million plus people continued to look at the challenges set before them with doubting and fearful hearts, they viewed the same glass, as being half empty.
I did some thinking about how I try and see life around me. I know it is a gift from God. Do I ever get cranky and wish for things that I don’t have or would like? YEP I have been guilty of that. My Mum is famous for her one liner(s) – her sayings. I grew up with many which seem to spring to mind as I grow more mature.
The one that springs to mind right now is MUCH WANTS MORE are you familiar with it?
Do you remember Aesop’s Fable about the Goose with the Golden Egg?
A CERTAIN MAN had the good fortune to possess a Goose that laid him a Golden Egg every day. But dissatisfied with so slow an income, and thinking to seize the whole treasure at once, he killed the Goose, and cutting her open, found her – just what any other goose would be!
Moral: Much wants more, and loses all.
I guess you could say that the goose man saw his glass as half empty…………….
St. Luke Gospel tells us (Lk 12:16-21) about a certain rich man, who’s field brought forth a bountiful harvest. He asked himself how he was going to store all this, and decided to build even bigger barns and storage facilities, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”
“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
“This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”
I guess you could also say this man was trying to fill up the empty space in his glass…. he certainly was not satisfied with what he had – much wanted more.
I came across a story which helped me put this all into perspective.
Do you know a Mr or Mrs Outstay -Your-Welcome? You try dropping hints like yawning or looking at your watch or jabbing knitting needles into your eyes but they just don’t pick up the hint that it’s time to go.
In Old Testament times they had a special signal: if you kept filling up your guest’s wine glass it meant they were welcome. But if you let the glass sit empty it meant ‘go and drink your own plonk at home’.
That’s why when David wrote in Psalm 23, ‘my cup overflows’ he was saying that God had all the time in the world for His guest – and all the blessings in heaven for him. If your host is filling your cup until it’s pouring over the side, spilling out onto the table; your friend is seriously enjoying your company. Your Cup Runneth Over with love……
OK, on your worst days you may feel like your cup has nothing but the dregs of life in it. But if you stop and think about it, your cup is brimming over with goodness. Take grace, for example: ‘The more we see our sinfulness, the more we see God’s abounding grace forgiving us’ (Rom. 5:20 TLB). God doesn’t let our sin swallow us whole; he covers it with the blood of Jesus and daily gives us a clean slate. Our cup of mercy overflows. Whether you see yourself as ‘glass half-full’ or ‘glass half-empty’ today, the reality is your glass and my glass is overflowing – IT RUNNETH OVER!
It is amazing how the Lord communicates with us – when preparing a sermon….. well for me, He gives me a theme, allows me to find suitable worship music, but He may give strong nudges and hints! But in the weeks leading up to the presentation He keeps on confirming that I am on the right track – and corrects me if I am veering off down the wrong lane.
Time and time again he confirmed that His Love is filling our cups. Take our sick neighbour as an example – and believe you me, I had to point this out to him myself, but no matter how miserable he felt during these last few weeks in the hospital – the Lord was providing for him.
He was receiving the care he so badly needed. The Hospital Chaplains were visiting him. A social worker had been appointed as had a psychiatrist. A physiotherapist was working with him twice daily, and finally they had found a care facility where he would be properly looked after for the rest of his life. His cup runneth over with God’s Love. He is now residing at that care facility and all his needs are being met.
I was just about ready to wrap this up, when in my daily Bible readings I received (maybe further confirmation?) that I was listening to The Lord when preparing this sermon. I know some of us read their Bibles daily, other’s use Word for Today….. I receive several Christian Bible based links via e-mail each day on my home computer, they keep me focussed. I kept coming back to the expression that WE HAVE something others lack – and that something is HOPE.
In Hebrews 6:19–20 we read: We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain,where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.
YES WE ARE A PEOPLE OF HOPE
and our cups do (as they say)
Runneth Over with His Love.
February 12, 2012