During the holidays, some of our fondest memories are meals with friends and family around tables laden with tender savory meats, hot creamy mashed potatoes and steaming side dishes. Beautiful, bright vegetables add color to the warmly decorated table. Special dishes come out, along with the candles, lace, nice silver and linen napkins, freshly pressed and folded from an idea found on Pintrest.
I remember my grandmother had my Pap hang two long pie shelves along the kitchen wall just to hold the desserts for Christmas. I think there must have been enough options that each family member could have had their own dessert all to him or herself! Caramel cake, pumpkin pies, apple pie, coconut cream pie, a very large blackberry cobbler, lemon meringue, and graham cracker pies sat in abundance above the heads of those feasting at the children’s table below. It really seemed like so much food and I always wished there was enough room to try some of everything. But, my grandmother didn’t make that an option. She really cooked and baked such copious amounts of food that one could never actually get to sample it all.
I put the cart before the horse! I didn’t yet mention the appetizers; the trays of dried fruit, veggie trays and cheese and crackers. There were crystal dishes with nuts and chocolate covered peanuts and Chex mix in a large Tupperware container.
There was a time when we were newly married in college with no money. Coming to Grandma and Pap’s house for Christmas was amazing and overwhelming at the same time! We were used to living on $20-$30 a week grocery budget from Aldis. Those were the days when we would be excited to find change in our couch cushions so we could walk to McDonald’s and share an ice cream cone for a date. Sometimes, when we would come in for a big holiday I would truly be overwhelmed by the abundance. It seemed like too much, or even a waste when there was more food than everyone could eat in one sitting. I was so used to having just enough food for one meal with no leftovers.
The other day, (20 years since I was newlywed and broke), I was driving to work and praying through all the pressing emotions of the month. Sometimes there is so much to think of- so many cares of the heart that a person can just not even know where to start, or even what to pray. So, I just numbly drove along throwing up general thoughts God’s way. Suddenly, a very great peace came over me and I immediately found myself looking at memories of all the food at Grandma’s house.
“There’s more than enough food at God’s table for everything you need.”
Abundance. God’s table is full of abundance and there is more than enough for every child of his beautiful family to eat till they are satisfied with leftovers.
All my cares, basically the emptiness in me that yearns to be filled with goodness, are satisfied with the spiritual riches of Christ himself. The Father’s love for us is so great that he provides more than we can ask or imagine. He always goes above and beyond, thinking of each person’s needs. All the little details are considered by our Great Heavenly Father. He knows our days are long and hard. He knows what we have to face and overcome. God is a Father to the Fatherless. One of the Hebrew names for God is “Nursing Mother.” In the same way that parents know their children and make sure they have everything they need, our Father nurtures us and cares for us.
So this Christmas, come to the Father’s table and receive the abundance that God has for you. Every emotional need, every spiritual need, all of our physical needs: Our God will provide all our needs, according to his riches and glory in Christ Jesus. When you approach God in prayer, remember that he is expecting you. He knows what long road has led you to his throne and he has prepared a special blessing for you in advance.
If you haven’t become part of God’s family, he longs for you to join at his table, the table provided by the sacrifice- the death and resurrection of his only son Jesus Christ.
3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’[b] or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7 Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. 8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”