Psalm 23:4-5-“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me, Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil, my cup runs over.”
I have somehow found myself in a restaurant. I’m seated at a table, and I look around. There are people, things, entities all around me, and they do not have my best interests at heart. They are making it plain that they are there for one purpose and one purpose alone-to make me hurt. They are there to make me pay.
I’m terrified. First, I don’t know how I got to this place, much less where this place is. Second, all these things want to do is tear me limb from limb. And I’m trapped. I’ve got no place to go. I’m frantically thinking of ways of escape….
“Sir, have you decided what you would like to order yet?” The Waiter’s question snaps me out of my panic. I look at Him dumbfounded. Does He not see the people around? Doesn’t He realize what is going to happen? These things don’t care who’s around; they are going to do EXACTLY what they want to me, regardless of where I’m at.
“There are some very delicious items on the menu today,” He goes on. I’m barely listening. It’s kind of out there in left field. I’m sitting in a restaurant, with killers all around, and a Man wants me to EAT?
“Uh, I’m not really hungry right now,” I stutter out. I’m thinking, if You really wanted to help me, You’d go and call the authorities. “Oh, but you look like you’ve been running for quite a while. You must be starving,” He tells me. “Look,” I say, “I appreciate it, but I really don’t think that sitting down for a meal right now is in my best interests, if you know what I mean!” I look around at the assorted characters and the weapons being shown to me with the intention of causing me great pain and sorrow.
“But sir, you really must eat. Allow Me the liberty of serving you,” And with that, a stream of food begins arriving at my table. A variety of dishes and the smells….oh, my mouth begins to water. Every good food that I love is being set before me on the table. My Waiter begins to urge me to eat. Each time I start to pick at the food, however, one of the demons makes a noise or hisses at me, drawing my attention back to them.
And I begin thinking again of how unreal this situation is to me. I can’t just sit here and eat, I have to try and get away; I need to get out of here. “Sir, you really must try this,” my Server tells me. He shoves a forkful of something in my mouth that just simply explodes my taste buds.
I can’t do this. It’s too hard. “Bo, it’s alright. Don’t worry about it. Everything is under control; you just enjoy your meal.” The Server is trying to calm me down. It’s then that I look at Him and realize what He just said. “How do you know my name?”
“I’ve always known you. You and I go way back. I care about you more than you know. I put this entire meal together just for you. I hope you are enjoying it.” Now, I’m really going off the deep end. I look at Him, and I ask, “Do you not see all the things around here? Do you know what they are going to do to me?”
He looks around at them, and says, “They aren’t as tough as you think they are. Trust Me.” He must be crazy; I must be crazy. This whole thing is nuts.
I get ready to get up, to make a run for it. He looks at me with this gaze; it feels like it pierces me to my soul. “You could tell them to go away, you know.” I look at Him, eyes wide open. “Tell them to go away? What am I supposed to do, go over and just demand that they leave? They’ll cut me to ribbons!”
“No, they won’t. I promise you they won’t. You’re under My protection. They are here to make you think you’re alone in this. But you’re not. I’ve got your back.” I look at Him, and then I notice how the thugs act whenever He gets near to one of them. “Look, maybe You can do that. This is Your place, but me, I’m just passing through. They’ll wait on me to leave, and then its lights out!”
The Server only smiles. He tells me, “Watch this.” And with that, He goes over to a table with a huge character seated at it, sharpening a wicked looking knife. As He approaches, the thug’s face changes. My Server leans onto the table, looks him straight in the eyes, and calmly says, “This is My place. You have no right to be here. You need to leave now.”
He almost broke his neck trying to get out of that booth and out of the restaurant. It was kind of funny. The Server came back over to me and said, “See, it’s easy. Now, you try it.”
Huh? You want me to what? “What do I do?” I ask. He looks at me and says, “I’ve given you an example. Just do what I did. Believe in Me, and the authority I’m giving you and you can do it.”
I think to myself, “Well, I might as well get this over with.” I approach a table where a rather small looking demon thug is seated. “Ahem,” I hear. It’s the Server. He looks at me, “Not that table, that one.” The one with the huge, hulking mountain of a thing seated at it. He’s enormous. I can’t do this.
“Trust Me,” I hear. So I walk over, and I see the others getting ready; they are seeing a bloodbath-mine. I stand in front of him, and in a meek voice, I say, “Could you please go now?” From behind me, I hear, “Don’t ask him, tell him. I have given you all authority to do this.”
The demon laughs in my face. “What did you say, little man?” I take a deep breath, and stand up straight. I look him square in the eye, and say, “I told you that this is not your place, you can’t touch me here. You need to get out because He told me that I don’t need to put up with you. So get out NOW!”
He trampled over several of his buddies getting out of there. I’m standing there with my mouth wide open. As I watch, more of his other friends are slinking out. They realize something has changed in me. Then, I start chasing them out.
And then, I begin laughing. I can’t believe what happened here today. I look at my Server, and I begin to cry. I don’t know what else to do. He holds me close and hugs me. His staff is crying as well. I look and everyone is looking at me proudly.
Then, He turns my head back to look at me. He tells me, “I didn’t come to be served, but to serve. I gave My life for you.” “What can I do to repay you?” I ask. He says, “Can you help Me here? We have lots of people who come here needing to be served, but we don’t have enough workers. Can you work for Me? The benefits are out of this world.”
I smile, and I think of what this could be like. “Okay,” I tell Him, “I’ll do it.” All of a sudden, I’m clothed in a fresh, white uniform. I’m scared again. “What if I stain it?” “It’s okay,” He says, “I’ll take care of that too. You’ll make a mistake or two, but I’ll always be here. Just let me know when you fall and get a stain on it, and I’ll clean it right up for you.”
Wow, that’s just…cool. Guess I better get to work.
Can I take your order? This place has the BEST food. And let me tell you about the Man I work for….
Be blessed in the Lord today,