he prepares a table...
He Prepares a Table… In the Presence of Mine Enemies
Psalm 23:5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
If I can be completely honest and transparent, the last few weeks have been quite difficult for me. If I can be completely honest, I may have decided to just walk away from everything and everyone and start somewhere fresh and brand new. If I can be completely honest, I have been nervous, anxious, rattled and just discombobulated in general and If I can be completely honest, I would say that I have been not really myself lately; as one of my friends told me a few days ago, I have been just down right angry.
So to counteract these emotions, I decided to be like Jesus and get away to a solitary place so that I could rest, pray and find peace. I didn’t want to drive and couldn’t afford the last minute plane ticket, so I booked a seat on the Mega Bus. I have very little experience with the Mega Bus; I have only ridden it one time before yesterday. But the tickets were super cheap and the need for peace and solitude was super high, so I purchased the ticket. Well the first day, I missed the bus because I didn’t feel well.
So I booked another ticket, made sure that I felt better and boarded the bus yesterday morning at 9:45am. I was the third person in line so I was super excited to get to my seat and start the relaxation process. As I am sitting in my “Purchased” seat, an elderly lady and her granddaughter say that I am in their seats. “No ma’am (always polite and respecting my elders), this is my seat. See I have my proof of purchase. They must have booked the seat twice.” Let me digress for just a moment and tell you about the seats on Mega Bus. There is a first come, first serve policy unless you purchase a seat. There are only a few purchased seats - about four on the lower deck at the table and about eight on the upper deck in the nicer seats.
The elderly lady replies, “I’ll just sit here until we can straighten it out”, but not before reading me every word on her ticket; so I in turn read her every word on my ticket and that’s when I realized that I was wrong. My ticket departure date was for Friday (today) and not Thursday (yesterday). I was on the wrong bus. If I were fairer skinned individual, I would have turned a beautiful beet red. I was so embarrassed. So I picked my things up and headed down to the front of the bus to state my case to the driver. By this time, my friend and ride to the bus station had pulled off and the bus was ready to depart. Wait! I had to make my confession; I am on the wrong bus. The driver hurriedly advised me to call customer support. Customer support said they had NO available seats on the bus and I would need to wait until 11:50pm to get a seat on the next bus. I hung up the phone, distraught.
So listen, I have an iPhone 8 plus; it works well, but I can barely hear so I was on speaker phone in front of the bus. I was the only thing standing between the bus’s departure. Everyone was looking at me, most with disdain because, I was holding up the bus. Defeated, I told the bus driver that I needed to remove my suitcase and travel tomorrow. He says, “Go find a seat.” Wait. What? He says hurry don’t worry about customer support; find a seat so we can go. I go upstairs and find a seat all the way in the back of the bus by an aloof young lady. Nevertheless, I had a seat on the bus, so I was content. I sat quietly to process the moment and realized that I truly needed a break. After my nerves calmed down, I drifted off to sleep to be awakened when the bus driver made the announcement that we had 30 minutes at the rest stop.
After grabbing a snack and getting back on the bus, I sat down to wait on the others to board the bus by the allotted time. So if you’ve followed this story this far, you might be thinking what is the point? Well here is where God just hit me in my spiritual throat. As we were about to depart, the bus driver came and said show me your ticket. I showed him the ticket and he said follow me. Remember, I said I was all the way in the back of the bus on the upper deck. As I get up to follow him, I was thinking, Lord, if he puts me out in this little small town, how can I get back home? Did customer support tell him to put me off the bus? My nerves were already shot.
So I followed him all the way through the top half of the bus to the bottom of the bus and he said, here sit in this seat. The driver moved me from the back of the upper level of the bus to the front of the lower level of the bus in the seats that were “reserved” around the "table". The seats at the table cost $8 dollars each. He gave me two seats – one for my luggage. I only paid $2 for my “purchased” seat on the upper level. Can you say, double for my trouble? Can you say cup running over?
Now look at this! The very people who looked at me with disdain and laughed when I was holding up the bus while on the phone with customer service, were right there facing me. Listen, I was the only person facing towards the back of the bus. Everyone else was facing forward. They all had to look at me as the driver sat me in the front of the bus at the table facing all of them. Psalm 23:5 immediately popped in my head. I was trying not to cry as he walked away because I was so overcome with emotion.
Just two hours ago, I was embarrassed and defeated, but the driver came and “found” me to put me at the “table” in front of the very people who’d huffed and puffed and rolled their eyes when I held up the bus. Listen, I don’t know what you are going through or have been through. The last few months have been tough, but God said, I am preparing a table for you in the presence of the very ones who mocked you, who scorned you, who criticized, ridiculed and talked about you. He said I will find you in your mess and your mistakes and still put you at the table. I am going to sit you in places that you didn’t even have to purchase or pay for and then when you get there, I am going to anoint you and your cup will run over.
I just really want to encourage you to stay the course. I boarded the bus to get away and the enemy immediately wanted me defeated, but God said, just be quiet and stand still and I will fight your battle. Be encouraged today. God is preparing a table right now in the midst of your brokenness, heartache and defeat; right in front of the ones who gloated when you were down. Get Ready! Live in the Red. ~Loved and Forgiven!
#Sitting at the Table