When my brother and his wife invited my husband and me to observe elk in their natural habitat, they failed to mention one detail—the nine-mile, single-lane dirt road that wound up a high mountain and down again.
We navigated curves that doubled back on themselves like a snake changing directions. The window view on my side of the car included an almost non-existent shoulder and steep, rocky terrain.
When we descended from the heights and drove into a valley, I unclenched my teeth and took a deep breath. Near dusk, we parked beside a grassy meadow that bordered a forest and waited.
When the sun neared the tops of the oaks and birch trees, a gigantic bull elk swaggered into view. His size commanded our attention. Soon a cow, a female elk, followed. After they gauged their distance from onlookers, they grazed on luscious grass, their evening meal.
We sat mesmerized as one by one other members of the herd emerged from their camouflaged haven in what appeared to be a choreographed entrance. A calf following his mother, an older bull with a large rack, then more cows braved the unsheltered dining area.
Although I observed an occasional ear twitch, the majestic elk ate in peace, oblivious to camera clicks and human visitors.
If the animals had cowered in fear amid the trees and ignored the bountiful provision of the pasture, their menu would have consisted of ferns, other plentiful plants on the forest floor, and bark. The tasty tender-blades-of-grass delicacy would have remained beyond their reach.
Later that night, when I scrolled through my cell phone pictures, Matthew 6:26 came to mind.
Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?Matthew 6:26 ESV
God provides for the birds. He provides for the elk. He provides for me. Not only food and shelter, but salvation in Christ Jesus, and myriad other blessings.
In Psalm 23:2, David mentions green pastures of rest as one of God’s blessings. The fifth verse reads,
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 ESV
The elk, grazing in the valley’s grass-filled pasture, created a lovely portrait of God’s table. Among other blessings, He offers His children peace, joy, rest, and prayer, as well as opportunities to serve others and lessons He longs to teach us.
When gripped by fear, we sometimes sit at the world’s buffet and consume a plentiful and steady diet of comparison, people-pleasing, and worry-producing meals. Like an elk who remains in the forest, we miss the wondrous feast our heavenly Father prepares.
Imagine with me …
What if…after asking for God’s help, and forgiveness where needed, we use a spatula to scrape our plates of any anxiety or unsettling thought whose origin is worldly influence, our own desires, or the enemy of our souls?
When we pull up a chair each day to enjoy God’s Word and seek Him in prayer, His truths rinse our plates clean of toxic scraps and fill our hearts and minds with servings of His grace.
Then, what if we praise and worship the Lord, approach His table, and partake of His blessings—the ones He’s chosen just for us this day? God is a wise Father. He doesn’t grant our every wish and whim, but He promises to meet our needs (Philippians 4:19).
The gifts on God’s table are tailor-made for you. Pause to write down today’s needs and lift them to Him in prayer. Maybe you’ll request joy, peace, strength for daily responsibilities, wisdom for a difficult relationship, or an opportunity to help someone. We can ask Him to teach us lessons we need to learn as well.
Pray with trust. He provides for His children according to His wisdom, which far surpasses ours. Then, watch expectantly for the way He answers with His perfect timing.
25 thoughts on “Are You Feasting at the Table Where God Fulfills Your Needs?”
“Empty your plate of the worlds diet and feast at the table God prepared for you.“
We don’t need to fear in these uncertain times. Shut off the morning news, shut out the divisive rhetoric, and partake of the fare provided by our powerful and peaceable God.
Carla, thank you for adding these negative factors that invade our minds. As you indicated, God is filled with power and peace to share with us, and we need those blessings on a daily basis. I appreciate your comments.
So many great lessons here Ms. Jeannie. Your words took me to that meadow my friend. I was reminded of why I refer to myself as the caretaker here at our small ranch. As human, my job is to be a good steward of all God’s blessings, and that includes the land, plants, and animals He has placed in my care. Great post ma’am!
J.D., I’m not surprised the post reminded you of your ranch and those in your charge. I love your reading your posts. You teach us about being a good steward in every post you write. Your comments reminded me that we are to steward well the gifts on God’s table, ingoring nothing He’s offered. Watching the elk graze in peace created a beautiful example to me of feasting on God’s blessings.
Your message really spoke to me today, Jeannie. This gem of wisdom in particular: “What if…after asking for God’s help, and forgiveness where needed, we use a spatula to scrape our plates of any anxiety or unsettling thought…” When I worry, I’ll bring that picture to mind–scrape those anxious thoughts away onto the plate of Jesus. He will handle them for me. Thank you for a beautiful (loved the pictures and description) and inspiring post.
I like the way you worded this, Katherine–“onto the plate of Jesus.” It’s His power alone that transforms our thinking. Thank you for reading and adding value to our thoughts.
It’s amazing what a difference it makes in my day when I give Him my needs. Listing them in a prayer journal is even better because I can look back and see His work in my life. Thanks for the reminder to give Him our cares each day – the visual of scaping our plates clean of our worries is powerful.
Candyce, the difference really is amazing, isn’t it? I’m glad you mentioned that. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.
Amen, my friend. Why oh why do we limit our diets and miss the feast God has prepared for us? Lord, draw us to your table every day.
I agree, Lori. Sometimes it’s after the fact that I realize my mistake of “leaning to my own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5). Not only is God’s supply bountiful, but His knowledge of what we need is far better than ours. Thank you for the powerful question you included.
“When gripped by fear, we sometimes sit at the world’s buffet and consume a plentiful and steady diet of comparison, people-pleasing, and worry-producing meals.” You’re so right. It is so easy to put onto my plate things that do not need to be mixed with His supply! Thanks Jeannie.
Sylvia, I like the way you said, “mixed with His supply.” His supply is sufficient, yet sometimes we allow servings of the world to crowd our plates. Thank you for sharing.
We do sit at the world’s table and feed on fear and comparison too much. But I love your way of getting rid of it. Scrape the plates of anxiety. That puts the scraps in their place. Thanks, Jeannie for this delicious buffet from the mind of God.
Barbara, thanks for adding “That puts scraps in their place.” Your statement underlines the fact that the world’s offerings don’t belong on the plates of God’s children. He offers a much more wholesome supply of blessings. I appreciate you reading and commenting.
Love the imagery of using a spatula to scrape our plates clean of the negative foods we’ve been eating. Nothing can scrape a dish as clean as a spatula!
I agree, Terri. I typically use a spoon, but a spatula is efficient. That makes me think of this: When we allow God to cleanse our hearts and minds by asking forgiveness and seeking Him, He’s much more effective than we are on our own. I appreciate you reading and commenting very much.
I love that God knows our needs before we ask…but He does want us to ask. He is able to do more than we imagine, all for His glory. As for needs…so many. Peace for my SIL who is in her end stages of cancer. Strength for a family member. Wisdom as I prepare lessons and retreat sessions.
Jeanne, I will pray now and later for your SIL, strength for a family member, and your preparation to teach. I agree it’s comforting that God knows our needs and encourages us to ask. Thank you for your comments.
Thank you, Jeannie for this visual of the Lord sufficiency. Each night, cleaning the supper plates, I will be reminded of this truth. The spatula will encourage me to look deeper on that plate to deal with any morsel that Satan has hidden.
Susan, thank you so much for reading and commenting. I’m glad the plate analogy helped you as it helps me. It warmed my heart to read your comments.
Beautiful. I am so thankful He is our provider.
I’m grateful, too, Jennifer. Watching the elk graze in that meadow created a perfect picture for me. Thank you so much for stopping by.
I love your words,”The gifts on God’s table are tailor made for me.”!! thank you for a wonderful picture of God’s care for those elk and for me!
Linda, I enjoyed reading your encouraging post. Thanks so much for referencing my former blog post in yours. I’m thankful my post resonated with you as yours did with me. I enjoyed Jennifer Rothschild’s study of Psalm 23, as well.