Saturday, July 17, 2021

A Table Prepared - Martin Wiles

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. Psalm 23:5 NIV

“Can you clear the table?”

I love it when I hear my wife ask this question because I know a sumptuous meal awaits. My wife is a true “Southern” cook. She knows no other way. It’s the way her mom taught her to cook, and it’s how she’s cooked all her life. This means the healthy things we eat often become a little unhealthy because of the way they are cooked (read fried and with grease).

I recall one occasion when she tried to cook healthier. Friends of ours planned to join us for supper (our supper may be dinner for you, depending on where you live). The husband of the couple loves eating healthy, so my wife thought she’d surprise him with some healthy cooking. The meal was a flop, as we all admitted, including my wife. We told my wife to stick to how she knew to cook.

The reason my wife wants me to clear the table is that she loves to put the entire spread on the table. No leaving it on the stove and counter for us to fix our plates. Doing this became easier when our daughter decided she no longer wanted her drop-leaf table—with two leaves—and gave it to us. Now, we can seat up to twelve people around our table, and we also have room to set out all the food.

One of the more recent meals—which fed us, my brother and his wife, and our daughter and her two boys—consisted of rice (a Southern thing that goes with anything), stewed tomatoes, cucumbers, lima beans, fried pork chops, fried green tomatoes, fried okra, fried potatoes (notice all the “fried’s”), corn, and, of course, biscuits.

I tell my wife she cooks too many items, but it’s in her nature. She wants to make sure everyone has something they enjoy. The psalmist said God does the same: He prepared a table before him. I’m sure God never actually cooked anything for David, but He gave him everything he needed…and more…in life.

Like my wife, God prepares our life meals out of love. Unconditional love. He can do no less because doing so decorates His nature. He created us for fellowship…relationship…and He wants us to enjoy the meal He serves.

God prepares our meals with knowledge we don’t have. I have no idea how my wife makes what she cooks taste so good. I can cook the same things, but not get the same taste. She says it’s because she cooks with love. She also knows things about cooking that I don’t.

God does, too. He knows what He has ahead for me. The goals He has in mind. The main one is conforming me to the image of His Son. This takes a lot of cooking over the course of a lifetime and involves eating some things I don’t enjoy. Like the cauliflower or broccoli my wife sometimes throws into our meals.

My wife doesn’t always cook with what’s best for me. She fries, puts in too much salt, adds too much sugar. God never does this. What He gives is always for my good, whether it appears so or not.

The table God prepares for us is like no other. Our part is learning to enjoy the meal, despite the circumstances that surround it.

Learn to enjoy what God gives you, even if you don’t like it initially.

Prayer: Father, thank You for giving us the life meals that are best for us.

Tweetable: Are you enjoying the table God has prepared for you? 

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