A lady went to her local bank to withdraw some money from her account. Having received it from the teller, she proceeded to count it and then recount it. Wondering if he had made a mistake, the teller asked, “What is it, lady? Isn’t it all there?” The woman snapped back, “It just is!” I am not sure what this woman was expecting, but banks are not charities. They give us exactly what we ask for, no more and no less.
The bank of God’s grace, however, is different. It is marked not by exactness but by extravagance. God doesn’t dole out His blessing in dribs and drabs. The psalmist David gives testimony to this fact in telling us in Psalm 23 that his life brimmed over with God’s favor and multiplied grace (Psalm 23:5). The overflowing cup pictures the abundant provision of God in David’s life. Good shepherds in David’s day often drew water for their flocks from wells, some as deep as one hundred feet. They would draw the water hand over hand, with leather buckets on the end of a long rope. The water was then poured into stone receptacles beside the well. It was a long and laborious process. If a shepherd had fifty sheep, he might have to work for two hours or more to allow the sheep to drink all they wanted. But the good shepherd did this out of love for his flock. It was a sign of the shepherd’s special care.
In this image, David wants us to see the heart of God toward His people. God loves to give in a way that exceeds our expectations. We don’t have to wring anything from the heart or hand of God. God, through Christ, loves to fill our lives to the brim with His goodness and mercy (Rom. 8:32). If it is salvation we need, it is a great salvation that He provides (Heb. 2:3). If it is grace that we require, He makes all grace abound to us in all things (2 Cor. 9:8). If it is peace that we crave, He sends perfect peace (Isa. 26:3). If it is life that we seek, He gives it more abundantly (John 10:10). If it is answers to prayer that we desire, He answers above and beyond all that we can ask or think (Eph. 3:20). God is more than good.
Given that reality, we need, along with William Carey, to always expect great things from God and attempt great things for God. The well of God’s promised provision for us will never run dry (Phil. 4:19). We must not stagger at the promise of God’s lavish love in Christ (Rom. 4:20). There is always more grace (James 4:6). Our plans should take omnipotence into account (Jer. 32:17). Our dreams should not turn back at the border of human imagination (Gen. 48:11). Past achievements should never be the benchmark for future possibilities (2 Kings 2:9). When it comes to God’s kindness, there is more where that came from. Raise your glass today and toast the goodness of God.