You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. Psalm 23:5
Remember Peter the passionate, impetuous apostle that walked on water? Stepped right out of the boat on faith. But, the very same man also went into hiding, weeping from shame.
His howls were probably heard by many in Jerusalem that night. After all, just hours before he swore he would die for Jesus. And as if denying Jesus wasn’t horrific enough, he’d done it three times!
And then, Peter, decided to go fishing. Which seems weird until you realize fishing was a comfortable part of his old life. He was clearly ashamed of himself. Witnessing the empty tomb didn’t erase the shame. Christ returned, but Peter was left wondering if He could really return for a sinner like him.
Some of us have wondered the same thing. And as the rooster crows, conviction pierces because we’ve returned to the familiar behavior we boasted we were done with. “From now on I’m going to bridle my tongue.”, “I’ve learned my lesson with him/her.” “I’m not going to keep secrets anymore. I know it’s hurtful.”
We often do what comes naturally rather than spiritually. And like Jesus was waiting for Peter to come to shore, He’s waiting for us with a table prepared. Just as a shepherd prepares a pasture for his sheep in the presence of poisonous plants and/or wild animals, Jesus prepares a table for us in the presence of our enemies.
The same God that prepared the Last Supper for Peter, invites us to set down our burden of shame, pick up forgiveness and join Him at His table set before us. Hallelujah! God is good.