If you are anything like me – Mark Wilson – then you are asking God to take you away from the difficulties. But have you ever noticed that He sometimes (for our own benefit) does the opposite?
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies – Psalm 23:5
How wonderful that God is preparing a table of delicacies and nourishment and tantalizing nibblies for you, faithful servant, to eat… but He prepared it right there, in front of your enemies.
Look at this image below. I know all those people are smiling, but just imagine for a minute they are the ones who secretly oppose you, who try to limit you, who frustrate you and put you down. There they all are! Right there! Scary huh?
Now God has put a massive feast right there for you. And it’s only for you. Is that going to make your enemies happier or even more upset?
Now… will you run away from them, or will you draw near to eat what God has laid out for you?
If your desire to run and be comfortable overwhelms you, you will miss out on the yummy food God has prepared for you.
We greatly underestimate the strength of character needed to be a real Christ follower.
How great is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you,
which you bestow in the sight of men
on those who take refuge in you. – Psalm 31:19
In that verse the blessing is also given right there, in the sight of people who may be opposing you.
Why? Because as He was trying to do with the Israelites, He wants to make our enemies jealous. He wants them to see His goodness to us. He wants them to want the same for themselves.
Fear can cause indigestion. Anxiety can make the food stick in your throat.
But I have found that I can eat. And I eat well. And I enjoy my food. I don’t let them stress me out. I’m aware of them, but I don’t pay attention to them. My faith is in Jesus Christ. My hope is in Jesus Christ. My trust is in Jesus Christ. The solution to these problems is Jesus Christ.
As He said to Joshua in Josh 1:6-9
6 Be strong and courageous,
because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.
7 “Be strong and very courageous.
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”