“For” Us not “By” Us

‘Why is it called Aslan’s table?’ asked Lucy presently.
‘It is set here by his bidding…’
‘But how does the food keep?’ asked the practical Eustace.’
‘It is eaten, and renewed, every day,’ said the girl.’

(C.S. Lewis in Voyage of the Dawn Treader)

“Eaten, and renewed every day.” Yes, this is central to our joy and our spirit. This magnificent mystery sustains and renews us. The table also sustained David.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.

If there is one man that yearned to be sustained, that cried for a “fresh spirit” and longed for peace, it is the Psalmist David. He knew the gifts that the table presented.He also needed them daily. His songs leave little room to question the dry and thirsty heart that David battled. Yet, He rested at a table. He found satisfaction in a feast…that was in the presence of His enemies. This is a peculiar line and one that is not insignificant. I wonder if we would like to be taken out of the presence of our enemies and simply prepare our own feast, rather than be prepared one.

Yet, it seems the Lord may be more glorified in setting up a marvelous picnic table in the presence of our trials than giving us a brand new home, kitchen and resources to cook with. It seems God loves our enemies too and as a result likes to display grace for them as well. Our hearts may grow weary but we may just learn to trust Him more and ourselves less, when His mercies are “prepared before us” instead of “prepared by us”.

Our Savior is set on not just meeting our bodily needs but also sanctifying each one of His children. In time we will learn to dance in the desert and run in the worn lands, as we eagerly anticipate a merciful table.

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