Pushing Back, Part VII (a new series for Thanksgiving Week)

23 Nov

Hosea 6:1, “Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.”

Like Comparing Thanksgiving to Black Friday:  The biggest problem with being out-of-sorts with the Body of Christ is that the very people who can challenge you to grow in grace, reprove you when you are in error, and, most of all, soothe your soul throughout the whole process are .   .  .  the people with whom you are out-of-sorts.

God has spread a sumptuous table before us (see Psalm 23) but we sometimes voluntarily remove ourselves from it because we want to be out-of-sorts with people for a while.  God is a gentleman.  He won’t force us to stay at the table, even if we get up without asking to be excused.

Problem is, if we are angry with someone in the Body, we now get to bottle up that anger and choke it in while the feast goes on for everyone else.

Or . . . we can get other people involved in our anger, which is like inviting them to walk down a Parisian street with us, looking at beautiful shopping displays in windows but getting our feet covered in doggie doo as we go (Paris is a very dirty city).

Our cause, our righteous anger (as we may call it) may seem so right, and even noble and  beautiful, but mishandled within the Body of Christ, it is going to get doggie doo all over everyone whom we get involved in it.

Eventually, when we return to ourselves, we see that even the shops of the world’s greatest cities cannot compare with the sumptuous table of God which we already possessed and voluntarily departed.

We wander back over and see the table from afar, full of beloved children of the King, feasting in His presence and making merry.

We realize that we were there.  A twinge goes through us as we realize we voluntarily left the place that God put us to feast and learn and grow.

We wander closer, wondering how much it is going to hurt us to see the joyful faces of those at the table when we are not there.

But, what is this?

Our place is still empty.  The china, the crystal, the silver, the linen napkin are freshly set.   A lovely aroma of things prepared for God’s beloved wafts over on the air.

And then He turns.  He looks us in the eyes and says, “Are you ready to come back to my table?  I have seated you with everyone here because you all need each other.  But most of all you need me.  And I love you.  I want you here.  I have saved you this place the entire time you were gone.”

Everyone turns to beckon us to our place.

And we return.

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