February 26, 2010
Faithfulness and a Coffee Table
"In that room were a gold incense altar and a wooden chest called the Ark of the Covenant, which was covered with gold on all sides. Inside the Ark were a gold jar containing manna, Aaron's staff that sprouted leaves, and the stone tablets of the covenant." Hebrews 9:4 (NLT)
To most, it is just a coffee table. A table that has seen better days, and is maybe slightly out of fashion. But to her it is an altar of sorts. The coffee table is the place where she found Him; the day she received a new life in Jesus.
My mom has looked for new tables. Ones that match her decor. Ones that turn into spiffy serving tables. Ones with glass for displaying things of beauty. But still the old table remains.
The table serves as a reminder. A reminder of the things that God has done. A reminder of His faithfulness. A reminder of what He can do and lives that He can change.
The Israelites had reminders too. Hebrews 9:4 tells us that in the temple, in the Most Holy Place there was a gold incense altar and a wooden chest called the Ark of the Covenant. Inside this ark was a gold jar containing manna, Aaron's staff that sprouted leaves, and the stone tablets of the covenant. All reminders. Reminders of things that God had done. Reminders of His faithfulness. Reminders of what He can do.
I am a person of change. I love new things. My husband and I were recently strolling the aisles of Home Depot and as we passed my favorite counter I announced, "I love paint." "You love paint?" he repeated. "Yes! I love the change that comes with new paint; new color." I don't care to buy expensive things like designer purses or diamond jewelry; things I feel I have to keep. Things I feel I have to use. I like things that I can change.
But this verse reminds me of the importance of "old things." The importance of the things in our past that remind us of God's faithfulness. My things: The dishes that remind me of my grandparent's marriage - one that was full of true unconditional love that lasted a life time. The marred chairs around my table that were for our "new" home when my now eighteen year-old son was crawling. The quilt in my bedroom, handmade to keep my mother warm in the wagon on those below freezing Minnesota mornings as a child. Piles of scrapbooks that document the life that Greg and I have built with our children. All of these testify that though life is hard, God is good.
I haven't told her yet, but I hope that one day Mom's coffee table will be a reminder in my home. You see, it is by that coffee table that I knelt with my mama as a young girl and began my new life with Jesus. Nothing on this earth would bring me joy more than to one day kneel by that table with another young girl and continue with the memories it holds
Dear Lord, I need to be reminded daily of Your faithfulness. Reminders such as these give me hope; hope that as You have been for all time, You will be faithful again today and tomorrow. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Dwelling: Living Fully from the Space You Call Home by Marybeth Lagerborg
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What in your surroundings remind you of God's goodness and faithfulness in your life?
What change can you bring to your environment that would invoke positive thoughts about God? Are there things in your home that you need to give a more prominent place? Are there things in your home that you need to remove because they cause you to have negative thoughts?
Take some time to attach positive stories to the things in your home with your children. The stories are in your mind, but our children need to hear them so that they too can build a history with God.
What are some specific times in your life when you saw God's faithfulness first hand?
Are you a "new" thing girl or "old"? Do you make a habit of reminding yourself of His goodness?
Joshua 4:7 "Tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever."" (NIV)
Exodus 34:6, "And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, "The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness," (NIV)
Psalm 36:5, "Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies." (NIV)
© 2010 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G, Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Friday, 26 February 2010.