Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Table

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

I find myself back in the place of former oppression, death, and darkness. This is the place where my enemies triumphed and almost had my life. This was the place of the greatest promise and the most devastating loss. The enemy stole the table set before me. There was food that the Lord had prepared, but it was stolen, leaving me starving and dying. The enemy almost won, but he did not. Great is His faithfulness.

My enemy is present. He is waiting at every blind spot. He knows that this is where he stole the most, but I know that he will not get it again. In fact, I will find a double portion this time to make up for what the locusts have eaten. I am glad that this table has been prepared in the presence of my enemy. That way he can see the feast that the Lord has before me, and he can see me dining with my Host and His other guests. This table is lavish, with great bounty and rich foods. The table is vast and spread out. As I sit before it and partake, my enemy is tortured.

This verse from the 23rd Psalm was highlighted this morning in our first session for the orientation here at Asbury Seminary. This place, located in the town of great pain and sorrow, is the place where God intends to do a mightier work than has ever taken place in my life thus far. Chills cascaded down my arms as the speaker read this scripture. The place of starvation has become a place of feast. The cafeteria of restriction is now the table of abundance and nourishment. My enemy will watch me sit and recline at the table which the Lord has prepared for me. Eugene Peterson paraphrases in The Message that the Lord serves a six-course dinner right in front of my enemies.

The Hebrew word for presence here is “neged” which connotes the idea that the table is immediately in the enemy’s face. There is a quality of opposition here. It is a parade of the Lord’s healing and power. The enemy can only stand, speechless, observing in defeat my feast at the Lord’s table.

In the enemy’s presence today, I sang in my first chapel service of my graduate school experience. I sang the hymn that is the Vessel class of 2005 hymn at the college. “Great is thy faithfulness, morning by morning new mercies I see. All I have needed, Thy hand hath provided.” His faithfulness is a thread that is woven so perfectly throughout my life, a banner that flies when someone sees the odds that I have overcome. His faithfulness brought me back to this place of deep hurt to bring profound healing. All I have needed His hand has provided. My defeated enemies ruefully observe as that same hand serves me from His table of hospitality here at Asbury Seminary.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Megan-my name is Elizabeth too and I know just what you mean. I did some research on the name myself-we are the mother of John the Baptist also who Mary went to visit when she was 3 months pregnant-her cousin. Now my light and purpose has also been redeemed also as I was in a relationship with a guy (fornicating) no matter how beautiful I thought the relationship was. The Holy Spirit enlightened me and told me quite plainly one day the beatiful and bountiful news that if I was to pray for people, I needed to be a clean vessel, lest the prayer get through or, 'consecrated'. Starkest copmparison would be: you have a priest come to your house to perform prayer for someone who is sick-but yet he is living a hippocratic life..prayer getting 'through'? Take care, Liz, Erie, PA