Originally published Friday, 18 December 2015.
Next week, people all over the world will gather in celebration. My prayer is this: As we prepare our Christmas tables, let us also prepare our hearts.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.
– Psalm 23:5
When Jesus gave His life for ours, He was preparing a place for us in eternity. It doesn’t matter who might try to stand against us, He is always for us. Our place settings are marked and counted. That alone should cause our cups to overflow.
In the movie Sleepless in Seattle the character Dr. Marsha Fieldstone speaks with the character played by Tom Hanks, Sam, about his late wife. He sums her up like this, “She made everything beautiful.”
For women, beauty is usually the goal. Most women have a need to turn whatever their hands touch into something beautiful. God has gifted us eyes to see beyond today, and because of that, we tend to place value on what something can be rather than what it is at the moment. In fact, we use words such as vintage and antique because we don’t see pieces as old, but instead as a timeless works of art. I believe God views us the same way.
- In spite of our sin, He remembers why He created us.
- He sees the gifts He placed within us – even if we’ve yet to unwrap them.
- He knows the hope we are meant to hold – even if our grip is loose.
- He instills the love we’re meant to share with others – even if we are caught up in the stress of the season rather than the lasting impact our tables are meant to serve.
As we work to continue making everything beautiful, let us work from the inside out.
A servant’s heart when filled with love has the unique ability to make paper plates look like fine china.
People long to be loved and welcomed. They desperately need asked how they are by someone who is actually willing to listen to their answers. Most hearts are crying out for hope and we cannot allow ourselves to be so concerned about how things look on the outside that we forget about preparing a place on the inside.
As you prepare your table, prepare your heart also! By doing so you’ll impart hope and aid in the process of preparing other hearts. Part of making everything beautiful is preparing a safe place for others to feel loved, welcomed, and whole.
And here’s something else, you don’t have to be the one hosting to do that.
You can be a guest somewhere and still share hope. You can silently pray for the woman across the room who looks tired and worn.
You can host love wherever you go! (Tweet that.)
To be honest, I’m an introvert, so I tend to silently pray for people rather than approach them to talk. Only If I feel prompted will I break out of my comfort zone. For the most part, God uses me to pray and smile.
I understand that preparing a tangible table is important. I will be working diligently on mine also. However, preparing your heart to give hope will reach much deeper and have long lasting impact.
I’m so thankful God has prepared a table for us!
The writer of Hebrews tells us this…
Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.
Now that’s food for thought!
Hope is coming.
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