Imagine if you loved to cook. This is quite honestly a difficult concept for me because my husband does all of the cooking. I do not remember the last time I made a dinner at my home. Anyway, that is not the point of this piece. So let’s get back to my idea: You love to cook. You are going to prepare an incredibly time consuming and expensive meal to a handful of the closest people in your life. The work behind this meal begins about a month prior with meal planning, inviting friends, researching amazing recipes, and grocery shopping at multiple grocery stores to provide the best ingredients. The day of, you clean the house and set out your best dinnerware. You even put on a bit of ambiance music. The day is perfect. Your guests begin to show up. You envision several meal courses with friends sitting together and having a wonderful time enjoying your food and the company of each other.
Now, for the sake of my point, imagine if a few of your guests showed up and said they had a huge lunch and were not very hungry. Therefore, they planned to just nibble a bit on the feast you provided. A few friends claimed they did not eat some of the items you prepared for dietary reasons. And the final few never even sat at the table. They did eat, but just picked at the plate as they walked by while watching the playoff baseball game on TV. You could tell they were not even paying attention to the food you just spent an exorbitant amount of time and effort preparing. Your feelings might be hurt. You wanted them to have the “experience.” To savor the food and friendship. To feel the moment you created and taste the flavors you tried so hard to bring to life in the entrees you presented. They did not get the experience you were looking to provide for them.
Imagine now a table of “grace.” The table is set by our Heavenly Father with a feast of everything we could ever need or want. And it is free. No charge. Each and every day it is replenished and bountiful. Let’s face it, things don’t come free these days. We must work for everything. And often, work really hard. But that is not the game God plays. There is this thing called grace that God is willing and ready to give out generously and abundantly at any time. There are no strings attached. Here is what I love about grace. The Biblical definition of grace is “unmerited favor.” So, if we break that down, it would read like this… undeserved approval or support. What an incredible concept! To think, the God of the universe approves and supports me. That he has my back. And, He doesn’t stop there. He wants the best for me.
There is a song called ‘Table of Grace” by Phillips, Craig, and Dean. (Just mentioning this songs makes me sound old because it definitely dates me.) I love this song because it creates this beautiful image in my mind of this bountiful smorgasbord of food just waiting for me. All I have to do is just walk up and take a seat at the table. It is that easy. Walk up. Sit at the table. Start eating. Simple, right? Well right this moment, God has a fully set table of exactly what you need. It might be joy, peace, strength, calming, comfort, love, patience, self-control… Whatever it is, He has it for you at this very moment. Sometimes I find myself too busy to pull up a chair and sit at the table of grace. I go about my busy day and eat on the run or stuff a snack in my purse to eat while working. But the way to partake in the table of grace is to pull up a chair, sit (for a moment-not in a passing rush) and enjoy the meal. Clear your mind of the things of this world and allow God to surround and immerse you in the gifts he has in store for you. I don’t know what you need, but we all need something. Consider this verse in Matthew:
If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
Matthew 7:11 (NIV)
Thank you for grace. Thank you for seeing past my faults and flaws and bestowing upon me grace. To think that you have special grace set aside to support and comfort me is so incredibly humbling. I want all You have for me. Help me to set aside time each day to sit at Your table of grace and partake.
In Your Precious Name, Amen
With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all.
Acts 4:33 (NIV)