This Thanksgiving week, as I have counted my blessings, I’ve found myself counting something as a blessing I didn’t think I ever would.
A couple of years ago, our family faced what felt like a true enemy in another flesh and blood person.
It all seemed to begin right after we shared our faith with this person, and I’ve never encountered anything like it.
I realize Satan was ultimately behind it all. I asked God to intervene, but the situation was still awful.
It hung over us like a dark cloud for a long time; but IN THE MIDST of the battle, I began to understand what King David meant when he said, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” (Psalm 23:5)
IN THE PRESENCE.
The battle was STILL raging, but David found a table full of God’s blessings right in the middle of the war zone!
While our hearts might be prone to wonder how God could let hard things happen in our lives, especially when our intentions were truly good, God tells us in His Word to EXPECT the battles, and to continue to seek to glorify God IN THE VERY MIDST of them.
Inspired by God, Peter wrote, “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.“ (1 Peter 4:12-16)
Peter wants us to understand, when we suffer there is an opportunity to draw closer to Jesus and give God glory and experience joy.
I don’t know what God is doing in the life of the one who sought to hurt our family. As far as I know, the person is still miserable and lost, but I can definitely tell you I still see Him doing some things in me because of the situation.
I really am starting to see a table (like a Thanksgiving table full of good things) in the very midst of the troubles and battles in this life.
God is showing me the blessings in each day and helping me to not worry so much about what might happen tomorrow.
He is growing me and helping me take a sober look at my own heart— is there a limit to how much I’m willing to suffer for the cause of Christ? I’m more thankful than ever that Jesus put no limits on what He was willing to do to pursue my wandering, rebellious heart.
God is also giving me a greater peace and helping me lay down more expectations for how life should go. He is helping me be more brave in asking Him to receive glory from every circumstance—even the hardest ones.
I see our Father even more as our protector and provider. HE has prepared the table for us. HE simply asks me to SIT DOWN, to be still in His presence, and recognize His good, sovereign hand in our lives.
God allowed that hard thing to come our way, but He was right there with us in it.
And PLEASE hear me…He is right there with you in your stuff too! You just need to SIT DOWN and look around you.
There is great peace in knowing we can commit our souls to our Good Father because He is ALWAYS faithful (1 Pet 4:19).
He is preparing a table IN THE PRESENCE of our enemies! No weapon formed against us will stand. Victory belongs to our King!
What would we do without our Lord? What a Savior!
For Him, I am so very thankful!