When you enter some restaurants, a host records your name in a book when there’s a wait for a table. After giving the host your name, you must wait to be seated. Some people leave when they discover how long they have to wait for a table. They lose heart at the outset. But wise individuals embrace the process knowing the end result will be worth the wait.
As you wait to be called to your table, you sit and watch others being summoned to their tables. Ever notice when more and more names are called, your impatience bubbles to the surface, especially if you’re really hungry? You begin to get suspicious of the people called ahead of you. Annoyed, you approach the host to inquire how much longer you have to wait. The host responds with something like, “It’ll be another twenty minutes.” You return to the waiting area certain some of the people being called came in after you. Instead of getting upset about people being called ahead of you, realize each time someone else’s name is called, it means you’re one step closer to being seated at your table.
The host assigns the table where you’ll dine. When the table is ready, they call your name. You have no clue as to where your table is. But the host knows where your table is located and how to get you there. When the host calls your name, you hastily follow without question. If you’re with a large party, it takes longer to be seated. That’s because the bigger your blessing; the longer the wait. This demonstrates the process we must go through as Jesus, the Good Shepherd, expertly guides us to abundant provision on the other side of the valley. God isn’t limited by time, space, or circumstances. When you’re in the midst of a valley experience you must be mindful not to compare the length of your journey to others. If somebody receives their healing, answer or blessing before you, it means you’re one step closer to receiving yours.
In the Bible, a table is symbolic of provision. The table spoken of in Psalm 23:5 represents God’s abundant provision. It’s a prepared place that represents relationship and fellowship with Jesus. The word “preparest” helps us understand the table is set because God knows you’re going to make it through the valley. You’re not going through for nothing! God has a purpose and a plan.
“Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies” indicates God’s provision doesn’t make you exempt from having enemies. God has a space reserved for them so they can witness the manifestation of God’s glory in your life. The same enemies who tried to block your passage through the valley, must sit by and watch you be blessed. But don’t get cocky. Remember, you’re blessed to be a blessing. It’s not for you to decide who you’ll share your blessings with. God has the final say. The Lord has unlimited resources. The Bible says, “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein” (Psalm 24:1).
“During biblical times, it was customary for a host to anoint his guest’s head with oil. This was a mark of hospitality.” When the host kept a guest’s cup filled, it meant the host wanted the guest to remain with them. The host stopped filling the cup when he was ready for his guest to depart. Psalm 23:5 says, “My cup runneth over.” Jesus doesn’t just fill your cup; He fills it to overflowing for continued fellowship and provision. This illustrates the eternal security we have in our salvation. Salvation provides continuous relationship with the Good Shepherd.
The Good Shepherd supplies all your needs and provides safe passage through the valley to get you to overflow. There’s a table on the other side of your valley experience. As you walk through the valley you’re being developed into the image of Jesus Christ so you’ll come out looking, thinking and responding like Jesus. Whatever you do, keep your focus on the Shepherd. Jesus, the ultimate host, will personally escort you to the table of abundance that’s awaiting your arrival.
Until next time…Be blessed!
Rev. Cynthia Jackson