You Prepare a Table Before Me

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil, my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life…”

Psalm 23:5-6a

Today marks the end of a pretty good week. Drama free, no missed work or car problems. It was payday yesterday so that makes it even better. I was able to catch up on a couple of bills and buy a few essentials.

The above verses from Psalm 23 follow verse 4: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”

You’ve probably heard me say that losing someone you love so much is like going through the Valley of the Shadow of Grief. Their death, not yours, but it affects every aspect of your life. There is no part of your day that your loss doesn’t touch, at least in the beginning.

I feel like I came through the shadows and into the light of God’s grace. I’ve shared most of my journey on this blog in previous posts.

The shadows linger over my head at times, like during the past month when the struggles of life bombarded me and were almost more than I could take.

Almost.

There is no question that the love and support of my family and friends brought me through.

I specifically asked for prayer last week when I was faced with a staff training day which meant sitting in a room with 30 other people. I didn’t find the chair comfortable, I was in the middle of the room, not the back or off by myself, which meant I felt claustrophobic, and IBS kicked in. But the seminar was on dealing with anxiety and stress, and by the time it was over my anxiety symptoms had faded.

One of the other homemaker aides took me under her wing that day, knowing I had problems with anxiety. She gave me the end seat at lunch, becoming the buffer between other employees and myself.

The company paid for lunch, then we bowled afterwards. My new friend invited me to be on her team, along with two other women from our department.

I had fun.
I was suprised at that.

I haven’t bowled for 20 years and I had a horrible score.

But I laughed a lot. I enjoyed myself in the company of my new friends.

I have not socialized aside from family and church for a long time, so it was a good experience for me. Sure, I had some socially awkward moments, but for the most part I felt good about the day’s events.

God prepared that table before me, in the restaurant and at the bowling alley. The employer is not my enemy and the other workers aren’t enemies, either.

No, the enemies that surrounded me that day were fear, anxiety and insecurity.

God anointed that time and place. He saw ahead and paved the way through my new friend, a table that had an open spot on the end, and a group that I was comfortable bowling with.

Although we had time to play three games and two of my teammates did so, I stopped after one. I don’t have great balance and I feared I would take a fall. It wasn’t so much fear as caution.

Even after I quit bowling, I spent time socializing and stretching outside the box.

For that afternoon, I forgot all about my troubles.

My cup of joy and laughter overflowed.

I had asked for prayer to get through the day, and I know many of my friends and family responded. I could feel the difference.

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