The tall plastic cup only cost me 96 cents. But I didn't buy it because I wanted to gulp down 16 ounces of anything.
It shouted its message at me from the display shelf: HALF EMPTY OR HALF FULL. I bought it because I wanted to think about what it really meant.
At first I figured that it should be a question rather than a declaration. It seemed to remind me that in all circumstances of life, and at whatever season of my life, I am the one to control my attitude and my response. It is a matter of my perspective.
In a human sense, how many of us can say that life always gives us a full cup in our expectations or in whatever we consider our necessities or desires? We tend to think about our perceived deficiencies and limitations and conclude that we are only half full at most. We look introspectively at our weaknesses and suspect that we might have been short-changed in our abilities or opportunities. Life has cheated us when luck or blessings were handed out.
It's true that two people can look at their “cup” of life and come to different conclusions. It is not the visual aspect—that is the same in both cases. One may declare in a positive way that his cup is half full, and another may negatively insist that it is half empty. It is a matter of perception and of inner understanding. It is also a matter of willingness to accept our apportioned lot in life.
However, we are more than flesh and mortal life, more than the visible, the temporal. Our Creator God has put within us an invisible spirit, an eternal soul. As I thought more deeply about what my plastic cup was saying, I realized that I wanted to take issue with its message—Jesus wasn't sent from the Father to give us “half” of anything and ask us to be happy with insufficiency!
Jesus went over the top to declare that He came not only to give us life but to give it more abundantly—not a half cup, but a full cup. And He promised the fullness of the Holy Spirit! As David the musician king shouted in joyful elation, “My cup runneth over!”
In the words of the popular country song, “I'm drinkin' from my saucer 'cause my cup has overflowed!”
Our Heavenly Father, Creator, Provider, Sustainer is so generous in His blessings that we can't say that He is the God of “halfway full” or “nearly enough,” not even the God of “enough.” He is the God of “more than enough!” Our blessings are so many they can't be counted. The Lord provides for us by pouring into our laps “a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over.” As the last verse of the above song reminds us, we should give the same to others because we are being blessed so abundantly by the Lord. “For by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you in return." (Luke 6:38)
So of what does my plastic cup really remind me? That it isn't telling me the whole truth—God doesn't promise us “half of anything!”
In the words of the classic hymn, “Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, 'It is well, it is well with my soul!'” Anything the Lord gives me is good, it is sufficient, it is overflowing with His goodness and mercy all the days of my life.
And the overflow onto my saucer is that I will dwell in His House forever! (Psalm 23)