by Teri Beane
Thanksgiving is approaching quickly and you are probably expecting me to blog about gratitude. I hope I don’t disappoint you, but my topic isn’t about thankfulness. I do however, want to talk about feasting. Is there anyone else expecting to leave the table stuffed to the gills on Thanksgiving day? I am no fortune teller, but I can confidently predict that I will be miserably full by mid-afternoon on November 26th. It is probably my favorite meal of the year. Coming to the table to feast is what I want to chat with you about today. Let me warn you up front, I plan on meddling and asking a challenging question or two.
When we moved to Sapulpa we lived in our motorhome for over a year and a half while we searched high and low for a house and a few acres of land. After months of searching, we finally found the perfect 10 acres with a not so perfect house sitting in the middle of it. As we looked it over I had conflicting emotions because I loved the property, and I could see the potential in the house, but I knew we didn’t have much time to devote to working on it. We had a new business to focus on and this was going to be a big renovation job. I cried all the way back to the motorhome because before we ever started discussing it, I knew we were going to buy this “project.” As I predicted, we ended up buying it and Thanksgiving week will mark our 5th anniversary of owning what I lovingly call, the never ending project. (I am happy to announce we are still married despite my occasional homicidal thoughts.)
Due to the renovation, I went three years without a kitchen. Oddly, during this time, I found myself really missing my dining room table. Mind you, my table is nothing special. It is actually a hand me down complete with some gentle wear and tear. I couldn’t understand this longing I had to have my kitchen and dining room finished so I could bring in my table. Eventually, it dawned on me that it wasn’t the table I was missing, it was all the encounters around the table that I was longing for. I thought about all the things my table had witnessed through the years- family dinners, birthday celebrations, card games, and meals shared with friends. I’ve counseled and discipled women, hosted Bible studies, comforted the hurting, been comforted when I was hurting, and had a front row seat to watch God transform lives as we sat around my table. I realised this old table has been the centerpiece of our lives, capturing everything from laughter, tears, lively conversation, and even an occasional argument or two. And perhaps the most significant feelings of attachment to my table are due to the personal transformation I have experienced through a habit of pulling up my chair to have coffee with my Heavenly Papa every morning.
Oh how precious those times have been, communing with He, who created everything with His words, and the one who knows me better than anyone and loves me anyway. Coming to the table is about so much more than eating. The joy and benefit of fellowship is as important as the meal itself. We need both. Life blossoms when we take time to engage and appreciate our friendship with God as well as feast on His written word. Deuteronomy 8:3 tells us that we don’t live by bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. May we become a people who crave His voice and hang on His every word! He has extended the invitation, will you come to the table and allow Papa to:
- Regenerate you
- Nourish you
- Reveal His will for you
- Comfort you
- Gives you discernment
- Steer you in the right direction
- Instructs you in righteousness
- Give you words to use as a weapon against the enemy
- Helps you see yourself as you really are
- Transforms you from the inside out
Maybe this post is about gratitude after all, because as I write these words I am overwhelmed with thankfulness for the privilege to sup with the great I AM. This girl is sincerely grateful for every encounter I have had with Him. After all, who am I to be loved by Him, much less share His company!
Here comes those meddling questions I promised to challenge you with. What best describes your spiritual meals? Do they most resemble grabbing a granola bar on your way out the door or sitting at the table with your Papa enjoying His company and the feast He has laid out before you?
With all the craziness that has been swirling around us, I am finding myself so hungry for the comfort of my Papa’s voice. I’m finding it harder to leave my morning table time and start my day because I am enjoying His company so much. As Thanksgiving approaches and we think about gathering around our tables, may we take time to rededicate ourselves to regularly coming to the table for meaningful encounters with our Father. Will you join me in a fresh commitment to pull up a chair?