The Mephibosheth blog post was a public declaration of sorts. A kind of notice that I am going to spend a year at the King’s Table with hopes of coming to know my God in a deeper and more passionate way. Are you familiar with the expression “I bring nothing to the table?” Well, for this particular occasion truer words were never spoken. But, in spite of my nothing to offer, I am pulling up my chair and leaning in close.
I’ve been keeping a little journal of the days. Wanting to have a record of the miracles of God and to have a tangible proof of the transformation I am certain He is going to bring about in my heart. I fully felt His good pleasure and favor fall on me on Day One as He brought Psalm 66 to life through a beautiful long distance worship experience with my Sweet Florida Girl. (If you want to read about His in-depth involvement I’ve posted my journal page here.)
But it was on Day 2 that God really spoke to my heart and gave me assurance for the days at the King’s Table to come. What beautiful words – that I’m certain I’ve read many times before but this was day He had appointed me to see them with my heart for the very first time. . . Matthew 9:36
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. (ESV)
Sister, I can’t speak for you but I have spurts in life when I feel a little harassed and a lot helpless and the idea that Jesus has compassion on me in that state is beautiful to me. And I love the plain language of the thing. It just hits my soul like cool water.
So a day and one-half had passed and the seat at the table felt pretty comfortable—a heart-to-heart mother/daughter worship paired with a new soul discovery. I only had about four hours left until bed time and then I could begin Day Three. So much can happen in four short hours and the “pretty comfortable chair” can quickly become uncomfortable. Like leather on a hot summer day when you’re wearing shorts.
Have you ever encountered a situation when you’re uncertain how you should handle it and so maybe out of habit or maybe because it’s what you know, you just plow ahead doing what you’ve always done? That’s where I found myself – not out and out rebellion because I began very measured and careful. But I soon heard myself choosing to serve my own agenda rather than surrender to love – and very quickly those four short hours before bedtime became somewhat nightmarish in my own mind.
If the blog has not clued you in to this, I like to share life and I like to talk – that gets me into trouble sometimes. God has done such a mighty work in me and really refined what I say and how I say it, but there are still times when that weakness, that desire to share my opinion, rears its ugly head and bites me. The evening of Day Two was just such an occasion.
Please keep in mind that God has drawn my attention on so many occasions to the verses that make it plain that it’s the fool who is quick to share what she believes to be wisdom without consulting the One Who truly is wise . . .Proverbs 18:2
Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions. (ESV)
And even if I have hashed the thing over with Him and feel it settled in my own mind and heart, that doesn’t mean He’s given me the permission to shout it from the roof tops . . . Romans 14:22
So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves. (NIV)
What I see with those two verses, one in the Old Covenant and one in the New, is that I’m best to sometimes keep what I think to myself. And in this instance, I didn’t feel as if I heeded God’s exhortation very well.
Those around me weren’t offended and I did offer apology but I still didn’t sleep well that night. I poured my heart out in confession but I was still left with this twisted stomach and I’m going to just say it – SHAME – in the pit of my heart. All of that serpent talk was whispering in my head, “you did this again?” . . .”God is so disappointed in you” . . . Talk about feeling a little harassed and a lot helpless.
Now you know and I know that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus and true repentance means restoration for the soul. Freedom in His Name–It’s my greatest joy.
But no matter how I prayed, I couldn’t get my heart to match up with what my head knows to be true and that sick feeling just sort of sat there.
So, I started asking God to show me how this instance was fitting in with everything else He seems to be about the business of doing in my life. And in His faithfulness, He spoke to me – slowly so I could understand!
He reminded me of the places we had been in Scripture the past few weeks and of the ache I had professed to Him to see others be in awe at His miracles. That’s supposed to be what miracles do — point to the greatness of God and leave us slack-jawed at His goodness and His power. I had prayed to inspire people to want the transformation that only Jesus brings about and I had prayed to fall more deeply in love with my Savior. I guess I just really hadn’t anticipated that for others to see the transformation that this year at the King’s Table will bring about in me – they have to know the starting point. Ouch! And perhaps I needed a reminder as well.
I pray for myself consistently to guard against a haughty attitude . . . Isaiah 5:21
What sorrow for those who are wise in their own eyes and think themselves so clever. (NLT)
I ask God to bless me with a humble heart and contrite spirit so I can make Him proud of the way I share His Glory and His Word . . . Isaiah 66:2
Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?” declares the Lord.“These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word. (NIV)
See how true it is that I don’t bring much to the table? But even though it isn’t much, I’m offering it up and asking God to bring about a mighty change and I’m trusting that He will. Not based on me, but based on Him.
I write it all the time because nothing has made me more certain of the Rock underneath my feet . . .I trust Him because my God does not change and my Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He’s faithful to Himself. Who He has been is Who He is. And the Who of Him will NOT give up on me . . .Philippians 1:6
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (ESV)
2 Kings 4 is all about God doing much with little. Familiar accounts of the woman’s oil that never runs out and the raising of the wealthy woman’s son. It’s all Him providing in unexpected ways and bringing life from death and tucked into two verses is, what seems to me to be an arrow pointing straight to the New Testament and our God wearing skin . . . 2 Kings 4:42-44
42 A man came from Baal-shalishah, bringing the man of God bread of the firstfruits, twenty loaves of barley and fresh ears of grain in his sack. And Elisha said, “Give to the men, that they may eat.” 43 But his servant said, “How can I set this before a hundred men?” So he repeated, “Give them to the men, that they may eat, for thus says the Lord, ‘They shall eat and have some left.’” 44 So he set it before them. And they ate and had some left, according to the word of the Lord. (ESV)
Sound familiar? Cross over the Covenant Line and join Jesus on the Mountain. You could choose any of the Gospels, they all record the miracle they witnessed that day. I’m choosing Matthew just because that’s where I am reading right now. . . Matthew 14:15-20
15 Now when it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” 16 But Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” 17 They said to him, “We have only five loaves here and two fish.” 18 And he said, “Bring them here to me.” 19 Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 20 And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. (ESV)
God took the small amount given and HE made miracles happen. The limited amount He received placed no limitation on the blessing that He gave. We simply cannot confine the miraculous.
And here’s a detail John shares that Matthew, Mark, and Dr. Luke do not – the five loaves and 2 fish belonged to a boy in the crowd . . . John 6:8-11
8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, 9 “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?” 10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number. 11 Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted. (ESV)
Christ took the boy’s lunch, gave thanks and distributed it to “those who were seated” – He transformed famine to feast. The ones sitting at His feet brought “nothing to the table” but they walked away filled by His goodness.
A Sweet Sister asked me recently, “Bunny, will you give God your lunch?” She was referring to this very passage. At the time, I chalked it up to the things in the long string that I talked about in The Invitation blog post beckoning me to pull up a seat at the King’s Table. But I think, now that I have returned an RSVP of “Yes Lord,” that I’m beginning to see the question a little more clearly and in the process, maybe part of the answer as well.
I don’t have to bring much to the table. But what I have, I need to be willing to give to Him and trust Him to multiply the ordinary in Extraordinary ways. He will not be limited by my limitations. Isn’t that beautiful?
And I can’t hide the miracle transformation. For people to praise God for the transformation, they need to know the less-than that He started with. So I’m not glad that I repeated those old patterns, but I am thankful that God has shown me this early in the journey that if I will give Him my lunch, He will turn my famine to feast. He’ll take my not much and make miracles with it. That’s who He is and it’s what He does.
God loves to bring the Miracle More from our much less.
Sisters, I have to tell you, if the first three days are any indication of what will be distributed to the “one who is seated”, then at this point I am certain that I have no idea of the depth of the transformation that is going to take place. No idea of the Miracle More He has in mind to bring from the much less that I am offering Him.
So may I be so bold as to ask if you have pulled up your own chair? Have you taken your seat at the King’s Table or claimed a patch of grass on the mountainside at the feet of Christ? Don’t worry about the “nothing that you bring” – it seems to me that making much from nothing is His specialty. Every person blessed to know Grace brings that sentence to life.
The Word is clear. Scripture upon Scripture confirms it for us.
Our God will never leave us empty handed.
— We’ll always be blessed with the more of Him. —
He will always bring us feast in our famine.
— He will take the much less and deliver the Miracle More. —
And He will not be limited by our limitations.
— No human eye has seen nor heart conceived. —
So the question remains Sweet One . . . .
Will you give God your lunch?