Oliver Hazard Perry was an American Naval officer who, in the war of 1812, at the Battle of Lake Erie, defeated the British and sent back the message, “we have met the enemy and they are ours”. Years later, in the 1960’s, Walt Kelly, in his comic strip ‘POGO’, modified and parodied Perry’s comments and wrote, “we have met the enemy and he is us”. His was mostly a comment directed to the divisiveness in this country over the Vietnam War.
I think Kelly’s simple little cartoon spoke a profound truth. I wonder if I am often not, we are not ……. our own worst enemies.
In the 23rd Psalm, David wrote ‘that you prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies, you anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.’
Do you relate to that line? I ask because if we are honest, we probably don’t have that many enemies, do we? Certainly not as many as David had. Perhaps, though, we have a formidable one that stays with us at all time. A force so strong that it precedes all of our actions – a foe so powerful that it controls our behavior. A whirlwind of tempestuous activity that never leaves us. What is it? It is the thoughts that we think! Take a moment and reflect on this, if our own thoughts do damage to us, are they not the enemy? Have they not caused us harm? In that light, let me paraphrase what David said to make a point, ‘in the very presence of my enemies (my faulty thinking) you prepare a table (of good, holy thoughts from your Word) for me. You anoint my head (my thinking) with oil (Your thoughts) so that my cup (spills out, overflows and provides a healing balm for my family, my friends and those around me) runs over.
Yes, He does! In the midst of my erroneous, ugly and self-defeating thoughts, God has prepared a feast just for me. A feast of good, wholesome, positive, fearless and nourishing thoughts that feed and nourish the very depths of my soul. So much so, that my cup runs over and spills out onto every aspect of my life.
What is this table that is so life-giving? It is….
Let it be so Lord, let it be so.
Here’s my cup, I lift it up, come and quench this thirsting in my soul. Bread of Heaven, feed me till I want no more. Here’s my cup, I lift it up, fill it up and make me whole.
Please make me whole.
– CHN Team Member