fbpx
See and TellThe Table

The Table – Week 4

By January 29, 2021February 18th, 2021No Comments
The Table Logo

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. Surely goodness and loving kindness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Psalm 23:5-6

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Psalm 23:5-6

An Invitation to Trust

In his book Ruthless Trust, Brennan Manning writes of his own journey toward trust: “The challenge to actually trust God forced me to deconstruct what I had spent my life constructing, to stop clutching what I was so afraid of losing, to question my personal investment in every word I had ever written or spoken about Jesus Christ and fearlessly to ask myself if I trusted him.”

In our relationship with God, trust is everything. Manning describes trust as, “the preeminent expression of love.” Trust is the lifelong journey. Trust is all we are asked. Trust is all we are given. Trust is the mystery into which we are invited. Trust is the transformation to which we are called. At the table of the Lord, we are invited to surrender all we have and trust him for our nourishment.

Yet when it comes to trust, Manning writes, “We do not have to do anything, except let our unworthy, ungrateful selves be loved as we are. Trust happens! You will trust him to the degree that you know you are loved by him” (178). “What does lie within my power is paying attention to the faithfulness of Jesus” (97). Trust grows in us only when we spend time seeing Jesus – when we see who he is and how he loves us.

This week, let us notice when we experience anxiety, when we are grasping for certainty or clarity, when we are afraid, when we are distracted by the past or the future, when we feel desperate for control. May we grow in our awareness of these signs of distrust. May we embrace these moments as invitations to surrender to the Lord in trust. May we know, a little bit more each day, the love of Christ for us. And may we fearlessly ask ourselves if we trust him.

Slow Down

Meditation

We encourage you to start or end your days this week by spending a few slow, quiet moments reading this verse. Invite the Lord to speak to you anew each day through this scripture, and allow your heart and mind to rest in the faithfulness of his word.
“Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.”
(Psalm 62:8 NSRV)

In the Word

As you contemplate the idea of trust this week, we encourage you to spend time in the story of Jesus feeding the crowd in John 6:1-14. On your own or with others, use the questions from Every Home’s Be Fruitful and Multiply discipleship curriculum to help guide your study:
• Read the story once to get familiar with it. Who are the characters in the story? What are their actions? What other details does the text provide? Allow the story to “come to life” in your imagination. (Pay attention to the conversation between Jesus and his disciples. What does each of them say? What are the crowds doing? How does everyone respond to this sign? How much food do the disciples have in the beginning? How much food do the disciples have in the end?) Pause to invite the Lord to make your heart attentive to his voice as you spend time in his word.
• Read the story a second time. This time, try to put yourself in the story by “stepping into the shoes” of each character. For each character, ask: What emotions might the character be experiencing? What choices does the character make? What motives might the character have for each choice? (What does verse 6 tell us about Jesus’s motives? How does Jesus feel toward the crowd? How might he feel toward his disciples? What might be the thoughts and feelings of the boy whose lunch is taken and multiplied? Could the boy have chosen to keep his own meal rather than giving it to Jesus? How might everyone feel when they receive food? How might the disciples feel as they gather the extra?)
• Consider what truth the story speaks to you about loving God, others, and yourself (Luke 10:27). Reflect on any ways the Lord might invite you to respond to this truth. In which character do you most easily see yourself? As you step into the presence of Jesus, what need is he already aware of in your life today? What “bread and fish” might he invite you to surrender to him? Where do you fear lack, and where might Jesus want to show you his abundance?

In Your Journal

As you feel led, engage this prompt in your journal this week.
If you are able, discuss the question with your spouse or a trusted friend.

• Do you trust God? Do you trust God? Have an honest conversation with the Lord about your trust in him. Where is it easy to trust God? Where is it challenging to trust God? Notice how it feels in your body to trust God. How does it feel when you are unable to trust him? Write a prayer that gives language to any desires you might have to trust in God.
• After you spend time in the story of Jesus feeding the crowd, sit for a moment with the ideas of “abundance” and “enough.” In general, do you believe there is enough—for you, for your family, for the world? Or are you more inclined to see lack? How do these ideas relate to your tendency to trust or distrust God? Invite the Lord to reveal the truth of your heart. Ask him to draw your heart even closer to his truth.

At Your Table

On your own or with your family, make a visual record of God’s faithfulness to you. Use words, pictures, or other creative means (read Joshua 4:1-7 for inspiration). Be honest. List seasons of need or struggle; remember the prayers you prayed. Record the ways God answered, whether in stunning miracles or quiet nearness. Note times God surprised you or answered prayers in ways you did not expect. Invite the Spirit to build a deeper foundation of trust in your heart(s) as you remember these things.

May the Lord restore your soul as you spend time at his table this week.

week 01     week 02     week 03     week 04     week 05     week 06

Leave a Reply