November 25, 2004

a laden table

It is Thanksgiving Morning, and I am already contemplating the Thanksgiving spread. I am beginning to envision this table spread out with the turkey, the stuffing, the mashed potatoes, the sweet potato casserole, mom's homemade noodles, and the endless number of pies.

I can see it spread out before me. It is one of the best meals that I will eat all year. And I am planning on savoring every bite of it.

But as I contemplate this meal, I start thinking about those without. I am not talking about those without a thanksgiving meal. Though that is a great cause, and one that is much needed, that is not what I am thinking about right now.

I am thinking about those who have decided that their own way is better than God's. I have been there before. I have been down that path. And it only leads to despair, destruction and a fleeting happiness.

God knows this. And when people go down this path he beckons us back.
"He is wooing you from the jaws of distress to a spacious place free from restriction, to the comfort of your table laden with choice food."
--Job 36:16

Do you see that? God's way is described as comfort at a table laden with choice food. That is one thing that I never understood when I was younger, when I was headed down that path. I always looked at the Christian life as something that was all about loss and the forfeit of a "good life." But that is simply not true. Paul says that,
"Godliness with contentment is Great Gain."
--I Timothy 6:6

The path that leads to life is one that is characterized by great gain, not loss. The world has it backwards. David joins with God in beckoning us to this life. He says,
"Taste and see that the LORD is good ... Fear the LORD , you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing. The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing."
--Psalm 34:8-10

As you are eating your Thanksgiving Day Feast, consider the feast of life that has been laid out before you. Taste it and see that the Lord is good.