I attend a Bible Study group once a month at the home of a good friend, Harveda Moon. We have dinner and then have our Bible Study and a time for prayer. It is a small group…. usually attended by 4 to 6 women, depending on our schedules.
Last month the scripture we were studying was the 23rd Psalm. In particular, we were looking at these phrases “He restoreth my soul…. He prepareth a table for me in the presence of my enemies……….He anointed my head with oil…my cup runneth over”. Our leader that night, Connie Holcombe, shared with us the message God had given her in the past about what the phrase “He prepareth a table for me in the presence of my enemies” means and she had a drawing that she showed us (which I have included at the end.)
In the drawing, there was a table with a chair for a person to sit in on one side and a chair representing God’s place on the other side. On the table were all these wonderful things—the fruits of the spirit—peace, joy, love and other attributes such as strength and so forth.
The table was sitting on a red line which represented the blood of Jesus. Underneath the line were all our enemies… not physical enemies as I often think of this but things such as anger…bitterness…hate…. insecurity …. doubts.
In short, these enemies are qualities/things that rob of us joy… that destroy our peace… take our happiness from us. After all, if Christ died for us so that we could have eternal salvation and a life where we were connected to him, are not then our greatest enemies the things/actions that separate us from God and his love for us.
She also wanted to address the verses “He restoreth my soul…. He anointed my head with oil…” and brought with her that night a small vial of oil—some frankincense—and felt God had led her to ask us if she could put a dab of oil on our foreheads and then we would each ask God to help restore us—to take any pains..angers..issues… etc and remove them so we could be whole. We were listening to a song and in prayer while she did this.
You know how there are some moments in your life when you hear or see something and that moment is forever crystal clear in your memory for you? No matter how many years pass after that moment, you see it clearly.
I have had some of those moments—some are very sad such as the death of a family member and some are joyous and some are just ordinary moments frozen in time.
I had one of those moments that night. I had my prayer notebook with me and was praying and ready to write down what I needed to be restored about and what I need to ask God for help with. ………and when she dabbed the oil on my forehead….the stunning realization that came to me as I stared at my notebook…. The realization was that I had nothing to write down….. that I had already been restored and that I was full of joy and that my life was good.
For quite a while, I have been full of gratitude for my life and all the goodness in it….. and I have not been able to put a finger on it or what has been going on with me…but I am now beginning to see….all those shattered pieces that occurred after my divorce… they have been put back in place…and I am a new whole person…not the same person and on some levels I have been restored to something better than before. … with a life that I never imagined I would have.
You have no idea what the realization of that thought meant to me.
I am not foolish enough to think that my life will be a piece of cake from now on—that there will be no more trials or sadness or challenges or pain……I have no idea what lies ahead. But I do know that all the broken pieces have been made whole again.
As I approach Easter weekend and Good Friday, this is made even more meaningful. Just as with the pain and sadness that occurred for His disciples and followers, Christ was able to overcome all and there was joy in the morning.
My little broken pieces are nothing compared to the brokenness He endured, yet because of His sacrifice and because of faith, it is possible to once again find joy and wholeness.
I wish the same for each of you….. Happy Easter.