Crumbs For Dinner?

I had just prepared dinner for Jack, our huge, goofy, but lovable giant puppy. He looked eagerly at his bowl, but suddenly, something on the floor gained his full attention. Crumbs! I could hardly believe it! A choice of a tasty dish — or crumbs — and he decides to lick away on the floor! I tried coaxing to no avail.  I pushed his head to the direction of his bowl. Nothing worked. He was content on the crumbs closest to him, rather than having to walk five feet to get his fresh dinner in his bowl!

I sat back and watched in dismay as Jack licked the floor of the very last crumb. I found it mind boggling that he would make such a choice when the best was his for the taking. That’s when a truth hit me: Does God also watch in dismay when He places a dish of His blessings so near, yet in our haste and desire for ease, we choose the crumbs of convenience instead?

You see, God has clearly shown us how to walk with joy, peace, and courage, even in the darkest of our moments.  He has written it all down in His love letter to us— we call it the Bible. It takes time to open His words, to read and meditate on the truths and instructions found there.  Much easier to simply draw a card from a verse holder, read it, and carry on through our day.  Now, please don’t think I’m criticizing the stacks of the “verse of the day” cards that one can purchase in the Bible book store; but I am suggesting, if that is all one does, then that one is settling for crumbs when a whole loaf of God’s goodness is available.

In the Old Testament book of Samuel, there is the story of Mephibosheth, the disabled grandson of the former King Saul. The current King David invited Mephibosheth to live in his home and to sit at his table for all his days. Mephibosheth did not feel worthy to feast at the king’s table.  He said this in II Samuel 9:8, “Who am I that you would show such kindness to a dog like me?”  Even so, he accepted the king’s invitation, sitting with him, enjoying both the king’s company and his food.

Isn’t that just how it is with us?  God invites us to dine at His table, to devour the truth of His words, to bask in the joy and peace of His company.  We are not worthy to do so; however, God’s love compels Him to invite us . He has prepared the best for us, to fill us up with His goodness.   We can feast at the King’s table everyday — or like Jack — we are free to settle for crumbs.

Beyond Our Biggest Dreams

When we want something so badly that we feel we will burst if it doesn’t happen, the disappointment of it not coming to pass can be deep and lasting.  It’s hard when dreams are dashed and hopes for some achievement slips away.  Perhaps we pray like never before, begging God to “pleeeeeeease let this happen or give me this particular something.”  We try to whip up faith, unwittingly attempting to impress God on the magnitude of that faith, in order that He will surely do as we ask.  Ever felt that way or behaved that way?  I have a sneaky feeling that we have all tried to outmaneuver God on the “ask and you will receive” promise.

We certainly can ask and receive.  It is a promise of God, but never forget, what we receive is always in accordance with His will for our lives, and His will for our lives, is always for our very best.  Therefore, sometimes when we ask for something, with all the faith in the world, God says, “No.”  King David had such an experience.  It is recorded in the Old Testament in II Samuel.

David had been richly blessed by God.  He had been a great warrior and became the King of Israel.  He fought and defeated the Philistines, retrieved the Ark of the Covenant and returned it to Jerusalem.  It bothered David that there was no proper home for the Ark.  The Ark of God’s presence was a mere tent.

Therefore, David desired to build a temple in which to house the Ark.  His intentions came out of love; they were honorable.  In David’s gratitude he wanted to build a beautiful temple; more beautiful that any tent — but God said, “No.”  David’s yearning to build a temple was strong.  Therefore, imagine the depth of disappointment when God forbid him to carry out his dream.

It was a good dream.  Why wouldn’t God say yes to a good dream, especially when the motivation was love and thankfulness?  There are many things we do not understand concerning the plans and methods of God.  Sometimes, as we mature and learn more about Him, we begin to comprehend some of His ways.  At other times, we have to accept that we may not fully grasp the ‘why’ of something until we get to heaven.

In David’s situation, he would come to appreciate God’s reasons with time.  You see, David had been a warrior, shedding blood, and no one who had shed blood could build a temple to God.  It was in God’s will that David be a warrior.  We all have different functions, and when appointed by God, they are all honorable and needed.  While David was equipped by God to be a warrior and a king, he was not equipped by God to build a temple.

Even so, with time, David would come to understand and he would be filled with tremendous joy, recognizing that, yes, God’s ways are always the best ways.  You see, first of all, God chose David’s son, Solomon, to build the temple.  Aren’t you who are parents, thrilled to bits when your children get to accomplish things that you never could?  Imagine David’s pride in his son.  Second, it was in God’s plan that David would write Psalms, and unlike the temple, the Psalms would last for eternity.

David had a dream.  God said,  “‘My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts, and my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.  For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.'”    Isaiah 55:8-9