By Karen Kogler
Editor’s note: CTA author Karen Kogler has been caring for her elderly mother-in-law for the past seven years. Through the challenges and joys, Karen is constantly leaning on God. Her caregiving role inspired her to write a series of devotions based on Psalm 23. You can find the complete series of devotions here.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil. My cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever (Psalm 23:5–6 ESV).
The “not enough” theme runs throughout a caregiver’s life: not enough time, not enough hands to do all that needs doing; not enough money; not enough room in a house full of medical equipment; not enough help to navigate the health-insurance maze.
But in Psalm 23, David paints a picture of abundance: an overflowing cup; a table representing food, likely a feast; and an anointing with oil. Both kings and priests were anointed for their office with oil, a mark of high honor, respect, and a special calling. All this abundance, David says, takes place even in the presence of his enemies.
You’ve been anointed, too. God chose you for this special calling of caregiving. More than that, though, he chose you to be his child, one of his beloved sheep. You didn’t earn that position; none of us can. Our best efforts aren’t enough to earn God’s favor and love. God’s gifts are always gifts of grace in the name of his Son, Jesus.
On our own, our cup is always empty. God fills our cup from his abundance of grace. He gives us more faith in him, more hope for the future, more love for the one we care for; more peace in our hearts. He can fill our cup so full that it overflows and runs out from us to the one we care for, and to others who need it also.
We will still be challenged by our emptiness and by the many times when there’s “not enough.” But we confidently turn back to that cup overflowing with God’s grace and Jesus’ forgiveness. We drink deeply. God’s goodness and mercy follows us all the days of our life until that day of complete and never-ending abundance, when we live in forever in heaven with him.
Prayer: Good Shepherd, thank you for making me your own. Give me what I need for this task you’ve given me. Give me such confidence in your provision that I can feast at the table of your abundance even in the middle of my challenges. Let the joy of the life to come color the life I live today. Amen.
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