“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 shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” Psalm 23:5-6

The traditions of our season of thanksgiving is gathering of family and friends to enjoy a meal together.

In the context of eating, we celebrate the blessings we have received acknowledging the Lord as our faithful provider.

With great celebration, I celebrate the gatherings of my early years when the ladies of my family gathered in the kitchen. I can still hear the sounds of pots and pans and smell the aromas of the meal that was to come. It did not matter how many came, we all ate too much and had leftovers for the evening menu. The ladies never came short on the provisions at the table. Leftovers were the sign of abundance that the next meal would be as good as the last.

Some of our family didn’t like leftovers. For some reason, they wanted something new. I loved leftovers. When they were “re-heated,” they were as good as before. Some things like banana pudding and dressing may even taste better the second time around. Leftovers should be part of the celebration.

In life, the Lord is our host. We are invited to enjoy what He provides. His faithfulness exceeds what we can hold. “Our cup overflows!” His provision is much more than we need and never ending. Like leftovers, the blessings we have enjoyed, we can continue to enjoy, because the Lord never stops providing.

Leftovers need to be seen in the proper light. Leftovers are a celebration of the past. The “repeat” reminds us of a wonderful experience of past time. But, leftovers should be a confidence builder in how God will provide for the future as well. His abundance is not only more than we need but will be there every time we feel we need it again.

Don’t miss the blessing of repeating an experience God gives. His blessing is new every morning. During the Exodus, God provided about 1 quart of manna per day for each person in the wilderness.

Some estimate 1,000,000 needed the daily supply. If you do the math, that works to 250,000 gallons per day, 91,250,000 gallons per year, or 3,650,000,000 gallons for the 40-year wanderings.

During the trip many complained about continuing to receive the same manna (leftovers). But God faithfully provided until they made it to the promised land. The same is true for us.

Celebrate that God always has leftovers! “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

Dr. John Temple is chaplain of the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office.


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