About a year ago, I was right in the middle of a completely unfair circumstance. It was one of those rare moments in time when I actually didn’t do anything wrong, yet I was getting hit on every side.
This wasn’t a TV show. It wasn’t a novel. There wasn’t some genius storyline behind the drama. It was my real life. And if I’m honest, it sucked.
It was really difficult to not focus on all the ways life was beating me up. I was getting screwed. I was losing money, relationships, opportunities and respect by no fault of my own. And somehow, I was inevitably the villain.
I lost my job and my best friend. Then I fell to the ground one night and in a matter of days, I lost my health too.
I won’t lie. I was losing faith. Quick.
Then a friend got my attention one day. He reminded me that the Lord was preparing a table for me IN THE PRESENCE of my enemies.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows.
– Psalms 23:5 NASB
That was a truth I clung to for…well, I’m still clinging to it. For months, it felt like an empty promise as nothing changed. In fact, things got worse in the natural.
But every time I would start to go down the wrong road, I would try to remember to focus on the feast my Heavenly Father was preparing for me rather than the audience watching. I had this visual in my head of sitting at a table on a stage where the Lord was standing and preparing the finest details of an elaborate meal and I was turned away from the table staring at the audience. I was completely missing the point of the show.
Can I tell you why?
Because I’m an Enneagram 3. We like stages because of the audience, not the show. In my illustration, all I’m focused on is what the audience thinks of me. I’m missing that Jesus has a better show than I do.
Thankfully I have a crew that keeps me on track, and a Jesus who keeps improvising His way through my missteps.
I built a habit out of turning away from the audience and putting my feet under the table and watching intently as God continues to prepare a table for me. The more I force myself to make that movement, the more natural it becomes.
Actually, now I just sit with my elbows on the table and my face in my palms as I watch Him do what He does best.
I have the best job I’ve ever had. And I’m good at it.
I’m surrounded by super cool people who help sharpen me and build me up for the kingdom work I’m doing.
I am in love with the role I get to play in the stories my church facilitates for Jesus.
I am healthier and stronger than I’ve probably ever been.
I’m closer to my dreams.
I’m living my very best life.
See? When we let our Lord be the show and captivate the audience, it takes all the pressure off of us. We get to just rest at His table that He intentionally prepared for us.
He not only provided for me in a season of lack. He actually replenished everything the enemy stole from me and blessed me exponentially in the process.
I went from paying my bills to paying my bills, saving, giving, paying off debt and investing.
I went from a job where I was capped out to a career in an industry I love with unlimited growth and income potential.
I went from being a chronically scaled Crossfit athlete to a thriving runner and athlete getting coached by the best.
I went from serving for my church in a role where I had become as good as I was ever going to get to a new role in a new capacity that allows me to grow, develop and use my God-given gifts to make a real difference in the hearts and lives of those I touch.
I am the closest I’ve ever been to seeing my blood, sweat and tears on real pages sitting on bookshelves all over America – and the book tour of course!
I went from being able to see less than 50 percent out of both eyes combined to now being able to see 100 percent out of both eyes, and we are starting to talk about the possibility of driving again.
I could go on….but you get the idea. The God of the universe knows what He is doing. Instead of us being so focused on the audience – the enemy – we have got to gaze at God and glance at life.