In The Presence Of My Enemies

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“Thou dost prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies”.

Psalm 23: 5

I  wonder what good food would do for me in the presence of my enemies. Am I going to pelt my enemies with spaghetti and meatballs?  Do I poke their eyes out with bread sticks? This part of Psalm 23 didn’t really make sense to me and I would ordinarily skim right past.

But recently, I saw this verse differently. The table He has prepared is laden with everything I have inherited through Christ – every spiritual blessing, every physical blessing, every weapon I will ever need, every provision I will ever need. All there – laid out for me. When I am in the presence of my enemies there I will find my weapon. The God who spoke this world into existence and created the many species and ecosystems and gave each exactly what they needed not only for survival but also to work in relation to other ecosystems for mutual survival, prepared a table for us! An orderly, lavishly decorated table with everything we have need of in the face of enemies.

When the enemy of fear comes against me, all I have to do is look at the table prepared before me and find what God has provided to combat fear – peace, truth, the spirit of power and a sound mind.

When the enemy of pain or sickness comes against me, I can find on this table the healing Christ paid for on the cross.

When the enemy of worry comes against me,  there on the table lays the  peace that passes all understanding.

When the enemy of rejection comes against me, I browse the table until I find the adoption papers that assure me that I am His.


All these and more are piled to overflowing on this banquet prepared by the Lord. And all I have to do is believe and feast on His provision.



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The Terror in the Hallway

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The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
   he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

Psalm 23: 1-4


When we were kids, we loved to watch Alfred Hitchcock and Twilight Zone.  We would all (except mom who didn’t like TV) gather in the family room and watch and tremble and get sooooo scared.  At some point, Dad would sneak out and hide.  We had a long, dark hallway that led from the family room to the bedrooms and we would have to walk down this hallway right after watching one of these shows.  We knew Dad had snuck out, we knew he was just waiting to jump out at us and scare the daylights out of us, but we loved it and walked right into anyway. He would jump out at us and we would scream and run in opposite directions. It was great fun.

It would be nice, as an adult, if the things that jumped out in the dark were anticipated; if it was staged and all in fun and no harm, no foul, just a massive adrenaline rush and lots of laughter.  But alas, that doesn’t seem to be the case most times. We are caught unawares, blindsided at times. And no one is laughing anymore.

This beautiful Psalm, a favorite of so many, is such a comfort and brings a wonderful promise. No matter how long the dark hallway, no matter what jumps out at me, no matter what diagnosis, bad report, pitfall, set-back is waiting to jump out at me, I don’t need to fear. My Shepherd is with me.

The role of the shepherd was to lead his flock safely to grazing places and watering holes and then safely lead them back to their safe place for the night. The shepherd protected the sheep from wolves and stayed on constant alert for any sign of danger approaching the flock.

Jesus is our Shepherd, watching over us, leading us, guiding us not only to safety but to places that feed and comfort us, protecting us from whatever may jump out at us. He never sleeps,  He never slumbers, He is never caught off-guard.

Whatever the long, dark hallway you may be going through, Jesus is with you, every step of the way.  You do not need to fear; I do not need to fear. How amazing is that?

Jesus, my Shepherd, thank You. Right now the hallway looks long, dark and is full of so many things just waiting to jump out at me. It’s not fun now like it was when I was a kid. I don’t want to walk down this hallway, I don’t want to be scared. Thank You for being with me, for promising me Your presence and Your comfort. Lead me beside the still waters, refresh my soul and cause me to lie down in green pastures. I will fear no evil, for You are with me. Thank You Jesus, I love You, Amen.



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