As a child I was unaware that my family was relatively poor. There were those much less fortunate than we were, but in the big picture, we didn’t really have much. If you’ve read previous posts you know that my father was self-employed; his income varied from one week to the next. My mother was a homemaker and made our clothes. I remember one of the few store-bought dresses I ever received. It was yellow with flowers and buttons down the front. I had evidently outgrown all that I had and there was a funeral to attend, no time for a homemade dress. It was the most beautiful dress I had ever seen. (I also got my first pair of panty hose at the same time. My excitement quickly turned to distress, however, as I was little more than skin and bones, my ankles so small they didn’t stretch the wrinkles out of the hose! I desperately hoped those attending would be dazzled by my beautiful dress and oblivious to my wrinkled ankles.)
My mother had seven mouths to feed each meal, and that was if no one was visiting. Come to think of it, we never had that many visitors for dinner. I’m sure that had to do with the fact that for many years the grocery budget was $15 per week. My father was a meat and potatoes man, with pinto beans as a side dish at almost every meal. Chicken was a common main dish and most often purchased whole. My mother skillfully cut it into adequate pieces to feed the gang. In remembering the process, I calculate that she only came up with eleven pieces of chicken, and that’s if you include the neck and the gizzard. (Did I hear someone gag just now??) Eleven pieces of chicken for seven people. My dad, of course, would get the largest pieces and then each child had a particular piece they were served. I don’t remember ever being asked which piece of chicken I wanted. But happy with the one I was served, it never occurred to me to ask for something different. When the plates and bowls on the table were empty, the meal was over. There wasn’t anything left.
Although embarrassingly thin in form, my appetite was quite large. I dearly loved my older siblings, but was happy at their leaving the nest upon realizing that now “seconds” could be served at mealtimes! I don’t remember “leftovers” before their departure, either. I dreamt of the day I would be grown and leaving home as well. On my grown up “things to do” list would be: fry a chicken and a plate of french fries to be shared with no one. I would be able to eat all I wanted! (And I did!)
This morning my mind was drawn to a verse in the 23rd Psalm. This is a very familiar passage to many, often read during difficult times. I’ve heard many teachings on the Lord as my Shepherd – His guidance and protection. But I’ve never heard a lot of focus on verse 5: You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. I remember writing in the margin of my bible years ago “What’s on the table?”. So this morning when I asked God that very same question, He answered “Everything you need.”
Have you ever been on a cruise ship? One of the highlights is the never-ending buffet! All you can eat, 24 hours a day!
Our Father, Who owns the cattle on a thousand hills, Who is Jehovah Jireh – The Lord Our Provider, has prepared a table for us. On this table our every need is met. He isn’t lacking in any good thing, and His supply will never run out. We need not worry that some will receive more than us, it’s ours for the taking. No enemy can keep us away. All we have to do is come to the table.
Are you weary and tired? Come to the table and take the rest He’s provided.
Are you fearful? Come to the table and take the protection and security He’s serving.
Are you wounded and brokenhearted? Come to the table and take the love and healing He’s offering.
Are you looking for direction? Come to the table and let Him show you the way.
Come to the table! He’s saved you a seat and there’s more than enough!!