Something that I have learned from my team this year is the value of family, especially being able to enjoy meals together around a table, preferably a long table. We have had many special moments. Serious moments, sad moments, but most of all a lot of very funny moments. The table is a place where you can sit down, relax and be yourself with the people you love. Through the year God has brought many people from the outside to sit at our table. They would sit down as strangers, but they would leave as family. I believe the table is a special place and that each and every one of us has a seat that is unique to our relationship with Him.
During a teaching earlier this year, our team was lead to ask God to show us where we sit at His table. I listened to how my team, one by one, shared the pictures God showed them. After trying on my own to figure out where my seat is, I gave up. I felt dissapointed that I did not get a clear picture.
Being perfect in His timing, only gave me the answer to my question two months later while we were serving at a children's camp in Russia. One night during worship I asked God the same question. I had been going through a difficult time and and my heart was far from Him. After waiting a while I decided that I am going to be honest with God and tell Him how I feel. Immediatly I saw a picture of a very old stone table full of dust and spider webs. It wasdark and the atmosphere was heavy. For those of you who have watched Narnia, it reminded me of the table where Caspian found the remaing few lords in the Voyage of the Dawn Treader. I found myself sitting alone around God's table. After I shared my image in detaiI with Him, I asked Him to show me how He sees it. He did exactly that.
Earlier that week I met a young girl. Her name is Layla. She never spoke a word to me, but she has a beautiful smile and the most intense eyes. It felt like she looked at me and knew exactly what I was thinking. That night after worship all of the children were rushing downstairs to the dinning hall to get their snacks. While I was standing alone I felt a child's arms around me. I looked down and saw Layla holding me. After a while she took my hand and lead me downstairs. The children and volunteers had different tables, but she made me sit next to her between her friends. There were children shouting, laughing and climbing over the tables, but next to me was this calm little girl. I sat there amazed, as she took the only cookie she had, broke it in half and shared it with me. In the chaos we sat in silence. She looked at me with such compassion and uderstanding. It felt like she loved me and I couldn't understand why. On that moment tears started to flood my face as I heard God say: 'This is where you sit at My table. Next to me.' I was reminded of every time throughout that week that Layla smiled and waved at me or simply just held me. And again I heard God say. 'I have been here the whole time'. God chose to speak to me through that little girl. The whole week He knew exactly what I was going through and He was there in the midst of it.
Jesus met me in a difficult time. He met in a situation where my heart was very far from His. The most valuable lesson that I am still learning is that God is really interested in our hearts and in having a relationship with us. God is a good father. A father who does not turn His back when His children call out to Him. He is a patient father, who doesn't always answer immediately or when we want Him to. But, in the midst of our chaos He is with us. He prepares a special seat and a feast for us at His table. He invites us to come sit next to Him and share in all that He is. All we have to do is to be willing to receive.