Psalm 23.5 You prepare a table before me….
Tables are special pieces of furniture.
Like a bartender listening to someone tell the story, it has ears, but will never repeat the stories. A table is not judgmental or sentimental. It has so many purposes. A foot prop, mail drop, homework station, or a drink holder. They come in all different sizes and shapes, designed to fit our need for it.
We do have need for it.
Mostly, we think it’s food related, but it serves and has so much more purpose.
It entertains the most intimate conversations to the angriest outbursts. It sees the most intimate of kisses to the pounding of a fist. It’s patient, when it’s not cleared, but better yet, it never gets angry when a spill happens.
It opens us up to one another…. to an authentic connection!
We teach our children around it; manners, algebra, crafts, you name it, we spend a great deal of time around a table.
In its most basic function, it serves us food. It’s what it is designed for and it does it without complaint, never wishing for more.
I never realized what a table could mean to me. Seven years ago, there were things going on in my house and family, I just could not get a grasp for. Insanity was happening and I did not recognize it for a second. I just knew I needed something, someone… You see, I was a believer, have been since the ripe age of 15. I’ve been active in youth groups, running sound, teaching, I’ve done a host of things. But the spring of 2008 my world changed, I became a follower of Jesus, in the most intimate way possible. It was life or death for me.
I know you are wondering about the table, just hang on, I’m getting there.
Beginning in the summer of 2007, I had felt the Holy Spirit nudge me to spend time reading 1 & 2 Samuel. Over and over….as if He knew what was happening in my life. (Btw, HE did)
So in the spring when the diagnosis became a reality, I dug in. I believed that my only recourse was to go head first into the Word of God. I remember sitting at my dining room table, at around 4:30 in the morning, with a steaming hot cup of coffee, opening my Bible and praying “Please Lord help me understand what I am reading.”
I had purchased at great expense a black notebook(those required for English in high school, total cost was $1.20) to journal in. I opened the book of 1 Samuel and my complete love affair with the Word became a reality. Not overnight, but I learned so much and wrote so fast.
I bought commentaries, Bible Dictionaries, Concordances, and Vine’s Expository. What I learned that summer was amazing. Still have those journals. A story for another time, perhaps.
That table was a refuge for me. Every morning it would welcome me, my books and my tears and just soak them up.
Last summer(2013) I was invited to house sit at my dearest friends’ house. They were on their way to Alaska for 10 days and needed someone to sit with Sadie(the coolest dog on the planet). You see, the month of May was a very hard month for me…I was going through one of the darkest times of my life, and I had just finished another long tennis season. On May 5, 2013, I was in a car with 4 of my dearest friends coming home from our annual beach trip. 4 hours away from home…. and I get devastating news.
It’s funny how God works those kind of scenarios out. There’s a lot more to that story, but we are supposed to be focusing on the table.
I jumped at the chance……May 5th changed my world forever, in SO many ways. Looking back, it’s exactly how it needed to unfold. I will never regret that day. It opened up something inside me, I’ve never felt before.
Back to the table.
It’s rectangle shaped. It has a covered bench on one side, 2 chairs on the other side, and a chair at each end. It’s a rugged table. Oh, but the best part is that it is so comfortable and welcoming. Over the course of the next 10 days, Sadie would sleep on the bench, while I studied, wrote and prayed.
That table was a haven.
Still is. I’ve spent countless hours at that table this last year, eating, laughing, loving, and listening! There have been heated conversations, tears, rejoicing, and countless food. The table has absorbed them all. It has kept me grounded in the Word and prayer(I know it really can’t), kept my sanity intact, and provided the necessary healing for a heart reeling.
We expect a lot from tables; what I don’t think we expect, is how it listens and understands. How it waits for us! We have no idea the depth it provides and how sometimes it’s what we so desperately need.
It is safe,
It doesn’t rock back and forth; it’s steady. We all need steady.
I’d like to think my table is the same for you, when you come and sit. It beckons deep inside you a sense of familiarity, hope, and above all love. It is soothing to your hurting heart, your deepest longings and your grave hunger.
I believe that Jesus preps the table, welcomes us to sit and lavishes upon us His unending love.
No matter the reason you come to the table, let Jesus fill you with exactly what you need. After all, He prepared it…..just for you.
When you gather around your table, remember, there’s one just for you, with just what you need, to fill you and satisfy you. Sit back and enjoy time well spent with your Jesus.