When our entire family gathers in our home, I love to prepare everyone’s favorite dishes, even though I sometimes get anxious about doing a good job. Anxiety loses its grip when I pray. As the younger grandchildren arrive and stand on tiptoe to see what’s on the table, I take a deep breath and smile.
In a familiar psalm, after describing God as the good Shepherd, David wrote about His heavenly Father’s table:
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies …Psalm 23:5 ESV
I often read this verse and picture myself standing on tiptoe at the edge of God’s table wondering what He has placed there for me. One thing I know: I’ll find everything I need because He promises to provide (Philippians 4:19).
When anxiety taps on the window of our minds–as in my case sometimes–we can choose to focus on God’s presence and His table of provision, just as my littles do when they arrive at our house. The Lord serves generous portions of His peace to enable us to stand against the enemy of anxiety (Philippians 4:6-7).
I can personalize the verse like the psalmist did because as a believer, I too, am a child of God, a member of His flock. God prepares a table before me—Jeannie.
When I insert my name into the verse, my spiritual ears perk up, and I consider the responsibilities and challenges of my day. Sometimes I know what I require, yet there are needs I don’t foresee. God always knows. At the right time, He sets the table with every necessary provision.
Maybe today, I’ll need an extra serving of patience. It’s there.
If discouragement threatens to become the centerpiece of my day, I’ll find courage and hope at God’s buffet of blessings.
Perhaps beside my plate He placed an opportunity to encourage someone.
Without a doubt, God serves generous portions of peace to help me fight the enemy of anxiety.
Is something making you uneasy today? What’s tempting you to worry?
Our world teems with unsettling news reports which sometimes join forces with personal circumstances to war against our peace. Are you fretting over a difficult relationship or a recent medical diagnosis? Do financial concerns or important decisions keep you awake at night? Is fear making you edgy?
Try these suggestions when you feel anxious.
- Insert your name into Psalm 23:5 and remember your heavenly Father planned today’s menu to meet your needs so that you can honor and serve Him and others. “You prepare a table before me, (insert your name), in the presence of my enemies …”
- Thank God for your blessings which enable you to stand against anxiety and other enemies. Record them in a journal for one week.
- List the needs you have and write an applicable verse of Scripture beside each one. Turn the verses into prayer requests as you converse with God.