“You, O God, set a table for me right in front of my enemies. You bathe my head in oil; my cup is so full it spills over! Yes, goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the LORD's house as long as I live.” Psalm 23:5-6 (CEB)
Have you ever felt so grateful you think you might explode? Filled to the point of breaking open? That’s how I feel right now. My cup overflows.
This past week you offered Brady, Thaddeus and me an incredible welcome to the Forest Hills UMC family. The package of cards, the brunch after worship, the smiles, words of excitement about our arrival, and the hugs have been such a gift. With each gesture of welcome we experienced God’s love in a tangible way. My cup overflows.
During a difficult time of transition, your hospitality smoothed the path. Change is difficult. Grief is real. Relationships and routines alter, but in the midst of it all, I found one thing remains: God’s loving presence. God has been with us each step of the way...and conspicuously through you. When we could have gotten lost in sadness, you stepped in and shined God’s light into our lives. With your tangible acts of love, you called us to remember God’s faithfulness. My cup overflows.
When I think about gratitude I’m amazed at how powerful it is. We know too well the difficulties of life. The pain, the suffering, the heartache. They can easily consume us. And yet each day gifts of grace surround us. Our very breath. Our homes. A relationship with a friend. A family member. A furry friend. Food. God’s creation. A job. Life is like a cup, filled with both joys and sorrows. Looking for the gifts around us each day is a powerful practice. It can change our perspective, help us experience God’s presence, and remind us of God’s faithfulness.
Gratitude opens us to hope.
What are you grateful for today? Can you name one thing, maybe two? Speak them aloud each day and watch your cup fill, maybe even overflow.
Kristin Clark-Banks is the pastor of Forest Hills UMC.