The Table of Grace

7:30pm. Dark outside. Cold too. After more than ten hours away from home, my family fell through the door of our home and collapsed. But my rest was short lived because like infernal clockwork I soon I heard that familiar bane of every mother’s existence echoing down the hall…. “Mom, what’s for supper?”

So I opened the refrigerator, and after rambling around for a few minutes, was grateful to find enough leftovers to warm in the microwave. In a record time, we gathered at the table to fill ourselves with a healthy, if not eclectic, mash-up of dishes from the previous week.

Mine: chili and crackers.

You know, I didn’t really want chili. Something fresh and new would have been better. Something more enticing to my senses would have surely been more enjoyable. But chili is what landed in my bowl, so I that’s what I ate. And… when I got up from the table, I was full and satisfied.

After the dishes were cleaned and I finally reached to turn off the kitchen lights, I found myself thinking that maybe the grace of God is a little like my meal tonight.

… and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. 1 Tim 1:14

Often believers (especially in the U.S.) are guilty of focusing our attention too much on flashy displays of God’s grace. Most of us have heard a least a few fantastic stories of divine intervention in a desperate situation where Jesus provided just what was needed at the last possible moment. And while those are wonderful and inspiring instances that should cause us to erupt in praise, the inaccurate conclusion Christians often draw is that God’s grace is evident only in the miraculous or extreme moments.

But what if His grace is more common than that, so laced in and through our everyday lives that it often goes unnoticed and unappreciated? What if grace (like my dinner) was prepared for us in advance by God, and through a relationship with Christ, is sufficient to sustain us and abundantly available at a moment’s notice?

Consider for a moment the possible consequences of demanding a steady diet of exciting, amazing and new spiritual experiences. Could developing a taste for the extraordinary dull our appreciation for His more commonplace (and plentiful) provision? What if always desiring ‘new and different’ dulls our ability to be genuinely grateful for what’s often sitting right in front of us?

So today, if  you find yourself exhausted from the demands of each day… in the darkness of confusing situations… or cold from the biting winds of change…

Come to the table of grace!

Be nourished and strengthened. Find satisfaction in the daily provision of His Word. Fill yourself with the abundance of His love. Gratefully receive what has been set before you and with thanksgiving allow Him to sustain your mind, body and spirit so that you can continue to “grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Pet. 3:18

 

20 thoughts on “The Table of Grace

  1. LOVED IT!
    Your words reminded me of Julia Johnston and Daniel Tower’s music and lyrics…

    “Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace. Freely bestowed on all who believe! You that are longing to see His face. Will you this moment His grace receive!”

    Thank you as always, Karen.

  2. Good things! What a list I made for myself. “Could developing a taste for the extraordinary dull our appreciation for His more commonplace (and plentiful) provision?”. This reminds me of the hectic schedule I have set for myself and my mother recently, in the interest of having enough to interest her. She had a long period of inactivity, and now I was trying to make up for it. and this topic of grace in small amounts also came up when referring to healing. It doesn’t have to be big and showy! Thanks Karen!

  3. Karen, I love this! It reminds me of the last several
    months when I was chronically ill with migraines, but how God gracefully provided for my family anyway. My young adult sons and husband would bring home take out, or my husband would cook simple meals. Sometimes they were my favorites; sometimes not… but I always appreciated the fact that meals were being provided and my family was thriving. Even my little girl bringing me a breakfast bar in the mornings was something so needed and appreciated. Thank you for this simple, and graceful, reminder to us to give thanks to God for everything!
    I’ll be sharing this on The Silver Lining Facebook ministry page today. Blessings, Angela

  4. So many good reminders, I jotted them down. I want to sit at the table of grace. Be nourished and strengthened. Find satisfaction in the daily provision of His Word. Gratefully receive what has been set before me and with thanksgiving allow Him to sustain my mind, body, and spirit so I continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of my Lord Jesus Christ.

    1. It’s so easy to forget that we’re daily sustained by God when all we look for is explosions and fireworks. I’m so glad you were encouraged and God bless you and your family as you daily seek Him!

  5. What a perfect analogy. I find that I must go to His table to receive His grace – His presence and love – which may not be flashy, but it’s all I need. The little fingerprints of God (coincidences) serve to strengthen my faith so much more than huge miracles – they are so personal and intimate.

    1. I like your reminder that the ordinary moments that we encounter God can be way more faith-building than the big and flashy miracles. If we major on those more than the grand displays of grace, then perhaps we’d also develop strength to endure the inevitable hardships that come our way because we have trained our eyes to recognize Him in all things. thanks Char!

  6. Oh I just loved this. It’s so refreshing and such a good reminder to me. It’s in the small, quiet, ordinary, everyday things that we can see evidence of His grace everywhere. Thank you for sharing this, Karen!

    1. Thanks Leslie! I have come to realize that God is so much more present than we ever fully are aware. He is with us and all around us, if we will only pay attention to His presence.

  7. That was wonderful and something I needed to read. I’m sure God directed me to click to your post because he knew I needed to read it. I’ll be sure to look out for signs of God that are small too.

  8. Beautifully simple truth. I realize how much of the daily, simple, unflashy blessings I take for granted when I imagine what it would be like if they were taken away – the ability to see or walk or feed myself, enough money to pay my bills, a roof over our heads (even if the house needs many repairs), a job that provides for our basic needs (even if it’s boring), basic freedoms in America, the ability to vote for our leaders instead of living under a brutal dictator, etc. If we all counted the daily, simple, plain, overlooked blessings, we would realize how truly rich and blessed we are. Blessings to you.

  9. I love relating scriptural thoughts with our home lives. You have struck a chord with me … every day grace … more useful for the long haul than the mountain top experiences that are few and far between …

  10. Oh my, this was so sweet! I agree that when we look around everyday we can see God’s hand and heart for us. Thanks for writing and sharing this scripture. I love to see God working and in everyday moments (as He is). It goes to show it’s not just about the big things but that he is a constant and never tires of being a father, provider and shepherd of our souls.

  11. This is wonderful. It doesn’t always have to be 5 course 5 star meal. Sometimes we forget…I do love those 5 course 5 star meals to be sure. But I’d be super skinny or..dead if that was all I was willing to eat. How about the simple home cooked meals of comfort? Maybe these are more important. Recently, I let myself off the hook in the kitchen and just thought, “Why do I feel that I need to always make something gourmet? Maybe Im raising ungrateful children. Why can’t good enough be good enough?”
    I think the church may also be “catering” to the trend to have something exciting and flashy–and maybe gourmet? Why not teach people about the sweet and satisfying sustaining grace of the Lord, the discipline of just walking it out with him even in the simplicity and the solitude. Sweet words.. And a satisfying read.
    big sigh.

    1. I was just having this conversation with someone yesterday. The church in many cases has gotten caught up in the entertainment mindset that exists today and has tried to keep up by making events that are bigger, flashier and more exciting. There’s nothing wrong with spiritual experiences, but they don’t ‘feed’ us with regularity. If we crave those things and won’t ‘eat’ common things such as prayer, study, meditation and quiet fellowship with other believers, then like you said, we’ll soon be skinny or dead! Thanks for your thoughts that encourage me once again!

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