lifestyle

At the Table.

Does anyone else have a song that just instantly brings them to tears? You’re two seconds in and automatically moved? That song for me is “At the Table” by Josh Garrels.

These particular lines clutch onto my heart and hold it still:

“Come on home, home to me

And I will hold you in my arms

And joyful be

There will always, always be

A place for you at my table

Return to me”

With a backpack weighed down by my British Literature anthology, two English education methods textbooks, and a travel coffee mug, I grudgingly head to my 8:00 AM class. The air is crisp and cold. And, I am fighting against eyelids that would rather shut than help me to see where I am going. I have had so many late nights—or early mornings, if that’s what you would call after midnight—spent with the books that are now ever so present on my tired back.

I have wanted to spend time with Jesus. Just a simple thirty minutes would have been great, but I always end up getting caught up in homework that takes first priority. I have hated that my involuntary habit has been to open my Apple laptop before opening my Bible.

On this walk to my early morning class, I pop in earphones and push play on “At the Table” by Josh Garrels.

The chorus comes on, and I lose it (without attracting unwanted public attention, thank goodness).

I felt like the words are coming straight from my Father’s mouth.

“Come on home, home to me

And I will hold you in my arms

And joyful be

There will always, always be

A place for you at my table

Return to me”

God lovingly whispers these words: “There will always be a place for you at my table. Return to me.”

The realization hits me that I do not have to earn that open spot. Jesus set that seat up for me. I may choose to sit down at my desk chair, but God is always calling me back to His beautiful and glorious table. To be at peace in His presence and to enjoy His lavish love.

As I try to keep it together on the gray sidewalks to class, I think of how sweet Jesus is. I imagine Him sitting at the table, waiting for my return. I think of the Father’s arms opening wide as I drop worries, anxieties, and disappointments at His feet. As I look up at Him, He holds me in His arms and sits me onto the place He has hoped for me to return to.

Suddenly, my backpack doesn’t feel so heavy. And my steps don’t feel as unwilling.

“Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:30-31

“But I will sing of your strength, in the morning, I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.” Psalm 59:16

We are not meant to go about life on our own, carrying heavy weight solely on our backs alone.

Bottom line: as far as you may seem from Him, there will always be an open place for you at His table. Return to Him and allow Him to embrace you in joyful arms.

words by Kayla Scott and photo by Nicole Lamkin

A conversationalist and coffee-enthusiast with a purposeful and intentional heart for the nations, people, and the One who created them all.

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