The Table of Mercy

He met me at the table that day, and I knew it.

There are times you realize God’s provision after the fact. Sometimes you reflect on something that happened, and you say to yourself “I wish I realized at the time what God was doing.”

Sometimes, though, God’s provision is so loud and so evident that you are completely aware of his presence and movement.

That’s how it was that day.

It had been a rough few weeks. Work was overwhelming and taking over my entire being. Constantly feeling like I couldn’t catch up even though I was working all the time. I hadn’t been spending time with the Father like I usually would. I was very busy meeting other’s demands and needs.  In addition, there had just been a lot of other things weighing on my mind. I felt heavy. I felt emotional. And I wasn’t happy.  I had nothing left to give.

I knew I was in that place that Sunday morning. I was driving to Bible study, and I remember praying for the Holy Spirit to meet me, to fill me, even though I felt so empty.

I remember answering questions in Bible study, inadequately of course. Feeling like I couldn’t get the words out that I wanted to say. Feeling misunderstood.

Before communion, however, we sang a melody that completely melted away my inadequacies:

“Come to the table of mercy
Prepared with the wine and the bread
All who are hungry and thirsty
Come and your souls will be fed
Come at the Lord’s invitation
Receive from His nail-scarred hand
Eat of the bread of salvation
Drink of the blood of the Lamb”

He invited me to come and to feast and to receive. The words washed over me, cleansing me and reminding me that my Heavenly Father didn’t ask for me to come to the table of mercy all put together. He didn’t ask me to spend and give.

He asks me to come, as I am. He meets me in the middle of my mess, and He longs for me to receive His mercy.

In Matthew 23 Jesus was in a long talk with a crowd about the Pharisees. He warned them about becoming like them. He called them blind, amongst many other names. At the end of that chapter he said that he longed to gather their children together under his wing, but they were not willing.  They didn’t realize the invitation that was before them.  They didn’t realize its worth.  They refused to receive his mercy.

Sometimes, I think I am like the Pharisees. I don’t always want to go to the table with Christ. Sometimes I am not willing.  Sometimes I would rather do things my way. Sometimes I am stuck in my emotions.  Or sometimes I am at my wit’s end and just don’t have the energy or mindfulness to realize that my invitation is always right in front of me.

Oh gracious Lord, help me.

He invites me under his wing. He invites me to receive his mercy. He invites me to learn from him.

I am so thankful for His table of mercy.  Here, I am made whole.  Here, I am reminded that He is all that really matters.  His infinite goodness and glory and beauty is all I see.

Everything else vanishes away, like He is holding my face in hands so near to His very own.

He invites you to have a seat.  Do you see Him?  He is present.

Will you receive his mercy?

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