The table is set. A lace cloth has been spread underneath our finest china. Every dish we could imagine is put before us. A giant turkey has just been carved and the aroma of baking pies teases our watering taste buds. Candle flames wave and dance above the meal as we sit down with the people we love most.
Our hearts are full. It is time to feast.
But just as we raise the first bite to our mouths someone yells at us.
“Stop!” they cry, “This is too good. We don’t deserve such luxury. Don’t eat from this table. Leave this abundance and find something harder to digest.”
We laugh at them. What is the point of a feast if no one partakes of it?
Why waste such abundance? Sure, it is more than we need, more than we deserve. But it has been graciously prepared for us and it would be absurd to pass it up for a Taco Bell run.
And yet, though the idea of leaving a Thanksgiving meal untouched in favor of fast food is laughable, I do this very thing day after day.
My life is in a sweet season right now. I have work that I love to do, I am financially stable, my home is ideal, my spouse makes me inexplicably happy, I’m healthy, and I wake up in the morning excited for the day ahead.
I have a feast laid out before me to take from and enjoy.
But just as I raise my glass to toast this beautiful life I’ve been given, something nudges the pit of my stomach and tells me I have it too good. This feast is bigger than you deserve, it whispers. Life isn’t meant to be this happy. Don’t take a bite; don’t enjoy the food laid before you.
Good Christians are supposed to be facing martyrdom and selling their possessions and suffering for the sake of the gospel. Trials and tribulations mean you are doing something right. First world luxuries and simple pleasures shouldn’t be our lot, the pitted voice hisses.
My tissue-thin pages of Scripture rustle over to Psalm 23. This passage is repeated at funerals and deathbeds, through sadness and hurt.
But read it with open eyes and you can see the theme of abundance dripping off the page.
Our God is a God who chases after us with goodness and beauty. He pursues us with blessings and favor. He takes our hand in His and guides us to lush green meadows. He bids us sit down and rest. He tells us to take off our shoes and kick our feet in a crystal clear stream. He fills up our cup until it is overflowing and He sets a feasting table for our enjoyment.
There are seasons of hardship, of grief, of heavy burdens and unspeakable sorrow.
I’ve been at tables that tasted bitter and I know there will be troubles ahead. Perhaps you are walking through a valley right now and you cannot see past the shadows.
But as we encounter sweet places, it would foolish for us to decline the invitation to feast with our God. He is the Giver of all good gifts; don’t push away His outstretched hand.
The table is set. The feast is prepared. And we have permission to enjoy every single bite.Leave a Comment