You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. Psalm 23:5a (NKJV)
My husband dislikes frothy food: soufflé, mousse, whipped cream, or meringue. He likes foods that you need to chew before swallowing. Good bread with peanut butter and jelly is an everyday treat.
I feel the same about literature, especially Christian fiction with the sweet, fluffy theme of: “I had a problem. I prayed. The Lord fixed it. Now I rejoice — until whacked by another problem.” Even though true, that set presentation is cotton candy in fairy land.
Reality-based literature like Pilgrim’s Progress written by an incarcerated John Bunyan better explains the perils of Christian living. Lloyd C. Douglas’ Magnificent Obsession turns me away from pursuits of self towards helping others. The same is true for Scrooge and other Dickens’ characters.
These books demonstrate knowledge of Jesus’ teaching “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). True-to-life dilemmas presented by talented authors are like buffets beckoning diners to the Lord’s everlasting table, the Bible. They draw readers close to that one central table where life is real, not airy or foamy. They show the way to the one Great Author.
That kind of literature stimulates the hungry to come to a banqueting table filled with platters of biblical meat and dessert – doctrine and praise. When I wonder how to avoid spiritual enemies and get to the solid goodness of His will, the Lord calls me to the table which He has prepared – the Bible. He knows I need to skip the froth and eat the bread.
Lord, thank you for setting a table before me where I can come to know you.
© 2011 V. Colclasure