48. Still at the Feast. . .
The Table from the 23rd Psalm, by David, interpreted and written by Monica DuBois
I have been ruminating on parts of the 23rd Psalm for a while. I have found much solace in reciting it as I fall asleep at night. There are some specific comforts that cushion me during this unstable turn of events in our country, and world. The Novel Coronavirus has wreaked havoc with our “sinking sands” for about two weeks now.
The verse that just kept coming to me this day is “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies; Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.”
My good friends all agree that the table belongs to the Shepherd. It’s not mine. This Good Shepherd prepared a feast for me. His table has a small curve in front of me and spreads out in radius from my vantage point to a half circle. I don’t think about what is behind me. I don’t have to. It is the Shepherd. It is as if it were all here for just this party of one, me. It is lavish and excessive. The word, Overflowing, comes to mind as I look at this spread. There are golden poultry dishes, surrounded with a ring of chopped sautéed’ cabbage, colored with Kale and Carrots shreds; Large portions of tenderloins cooked to perfection crowded with roasted potatoes wearing their finest red wardrobe. Next to the main courses are platters arrayed with cheeses and sliced cured meats for easy nibbling. Fruitful colors are splashed here and there, just as a charcuterie board should be. Globes of clustered vividness draping the flanks of the table. Orbs of ripe orange, yellow, and green produce grace the table in groups of threes here and, oh my, there! My mouth is watering. But wait, the scene is all too perfect except for the faces surrounding the table.
The verse goes on to say that the spread before me is not without company. There are dark, hungry faces. Terrible visages of shadowy creatures. I look from the banquet to the background and shutter. The names of these “enemies” are all too familiar to me. You See, some of them I used to consider old friends. Several had been with me for so long that I believed them comrades. That is until I came to know my Shepherd. He assured me, in no uncertain terms, that they never were friends, but they were wolves in sheep’s clothing. He told me that I need not concern myself with their acquaintance any longer. They had intended evil against me from the beginning. What are some of their names, you ask? I can tell you right away! Shame, Guilt, Failure, Lies, Abandonment, Fear, Rejection, those are the ones closest to me, to the banquet table. There are more behind them, Condemnation, Accusation, Weaknesses, Unforgiveness, bitterness, and there are more behind them. Some of the names are Covid 19, Economic instability, political unrest, and natural disasters. They are all vying for a place upfront, close to me, close to my banquet, maybe hoping I would invite them in. Their Shadows are huge as they crowd in close to the table that belongs to my Master. There are their minions too; the mob becomes unruly. But my Shepherd won’t let them touch the table, that belongs to Him. As a matter of fact, He is anointing my head with a wonderful perfumed oil. It is an amazing aroma that pervades the whole atmosphere of the feast. It clings to me, and comforts me, I am at complete rest as He massages my head with this healing essence. My countenance has softened, becomes pliable, as I am immersed in this scene of joy, peace and love. I open my eyes and look slightly to my right. On the abundant table is a goblet of liquid refreshment, filled to the brim and now running over onto the table. Normally this would disturb me. The stains! The waste of this precious drink! But I am persuaded that as I take in the picture of the flow of the liquid, that this is a symbol of His love for me.
The Shepherd has gone out of His way to persuade me! He has lavished me with sustenance from a bounty that I know not where it came from! In the middle of this desert! He is making me to lie down on the inside of my soul, so that I have no wants. He is leading me to still waters, so I have no worries of drinking with the spray of turbulent water going up my nose as I drink. He is restoring my soul.
And I think to myself, I almost let the situations and circumstances around me dictate how I should feel. But my Shepherd says, “Look to Me. I have separated those enemies from you with this table of bounty. I have touched your head with protective oil so the enemy’s words and works will slide right off! I have filled your cup to overflowing so you will not be parched in your soul. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow you all the days of your life! And you will dwell with Me in My House forever!”
I am filled with promises and reassurances that keep me still and guard my heart. I have tasted, and I see, and I know “He is good.”
This was written mid-April, after the shut-down for Corona virus 19. I find it still stands as truth for all who trust in the Lord God Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.
I decided to post this becasue we are coming up on two years of this "pandemic" and it is still making people fearful and reactionary. I hope this brings great peace and comfort in the midst of the world unrest. God is good and He never changes. Read the full Psalm 23 and see how God wants to reassure you in times of trouble.
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