I remember when my dad started living for the Lord. I was 12 years old. Before that he was a pretty fun guy….when he was sober. He was also a pretty mean drunk. But before you start judging him, you should know that his dad was an even meaner drunk. But my dad wanted to give me a better start in life than what he had.
My name is Jamie Henderson and one of my fondest memories from childhood is hearing my dad talk about the Bible. He began teaching me and my little brother about the grace of Jesus. He did bible study with us occasionally in our living room.
His favorite person in history was King David. King David was by far the greatest king in the history of the nation of Israel. He loved how the Bible exploited David’s epic failures, Bathsheba and Uriah to be specific. Yet God called him a man after His heart. My dad loved that God could look past David’s actions and see his heart.
One of my dad’s favorite passages in the entire Bible was the account of David preparing a place at his table for the previous king’s disabled son, Mephibosheth. It would have been customary for a King from a different bloodline to annihilate the entire family of the previous king to prevent a future uprising.
God had anointed David to be the next king instead of one of Saul’s sons because of Saul’s disobedience. So when Saul died, David took his rightful place on the throne. Eventually David asked if there was anyone living from Saul’s family. Someone disclosed information about the existence and location of a man named Mephibosheth. Mephibosheth was a young boy when his dad died.
Everyone knew the fate of young Mephibosheth if he was caught. One of Saul’s servants grabbed the small boy up in his arms and ran. In the frenzy they fell and the boys legs were broken. Mephibosheth remained crippled for life.
I can imagine the scene. David sent for him. He was carried into the presence of the king. I am sure he was scared. I am sure he knew his fate was sealed.
But instead of a death warrant Mephibosheth received an invitation. It was an invitation to sit at the King’s table. David told him that he would essentially be treated like family. Mephibosheth would have everything he was entitled to just as if his family had never been stripped of their kingdom: land, money, and a place at the table.
I have spent a good ten years chasing after a place at the table. For some reason or another I have always felt disqualified. Sometimes it was because I had a baby out of wedlock. Sometimes it was because I was a woman. Sometimes it was because I was divorced. Sometimes it was because I struggled with one sin or another.
I have spent so many years trying to make myself look like the whole package, you know, a good deal. I spent so much time begging people to accept me and trying to get them to let me play in their group.
I have spent so much time feeling like I just didn’t fit in and I would never be worthy of having a place at the table. You would think as I have grown in my relationship with my loving Lord and Savior that this would become less important to me. You would think that I would become less concerned with what the world has to offer as I become more satisfied with who I am in Him.
Well for some reason the opposite happened. As I grew in my faith and in my walk I expected to become more qualified. I expected to be more accepted.
My sweet friends, let me tell you that isn’t always the way it happens. And I have learned some hard lessons this year. Sometimes God places you where He wants you to humble you. But sometimes he places you where He wants you because it puts you in proximity to the people He wants you to reach.
Sometimes you can’t reach the people who have fallen and who are struggling when you’re focused on making it to the top.
I remember earlier this year crying and begging God to show me why I couldn’t have a place at the table. He clearly showed me a vision of the Heavenly table He is preparing for me. It is a place I don’t deserve to have. It’s a chair I don’t deserve to sit in. But His Son willingly came to this terribly broken world to endure rejection and disqualification and, inevitably, the cross.
The reason He came: ME!
He came so that one day I could sit at His table in Heaven. He came so that I could be made new. He came so that I could be spiritually satisfied with my place in this life as I keep my eyes on Him and diligently prepare for the next life.
Mephibosheth didn’t deserve a place at David’s table. He was an orphan forgotten by the world. Only David’s children deserved a seat there. And not only did Mephibosheth not deserve a place at the table, he couldn’t even get himself to the table. He had to be carried by someone else.
That’s me. I don’t deserve a place at my Father’s Heavenly table. I can’t even get there on my own. But because of the work Jesus did at the cross and because He deserves a place at His Father’s table and because He loves me enough to invite me, I will be there.
And until then I will happily serve wherever God invites me to be, whether it’s at the table or in the ditches. I will serve with a happy heart because I have a beautiful hope of the life that is to come.
I am a beautiful child with a major disability. I have been disabled by things that happened in my past and by my own sins. But today…..today I choose to meal plan. I choose to talk to Jesus about what I want at the marriage supper of the lamb. I can’t wait!!!
I can’t wait to sit with Him, the King of the World. Just imagine!
Let me pray over us!
Father, thank you for this Thanksgiving season. Thank you that for the opportunity to sit around earthly tables and share of your goodness, mercy, and grace. Let us rest in the peace of knowing that you are so busy preparing a table for us, a table that no one could ever disqualify us from. Let us rest and be grateful this season as we keep our eyes on you and not on what this world has to offer. Lord, please bless every single person reading this post with a beautiful vision of themselves being carried to your table as they listen to the following song. Father, please let them never forget the time a young boy named Mephibosheth escaped his destiny of death and was treated like a king because of who David was, not because of who he was himself. Let it forever be a picture of us and Jesus Christ. I love you so much Father!