I was reading in Galatians today and I had this image come to mind. I was in a banquet hall and there was food on both sides of the room. On the right was a beautiful arrangement of ripe fruits; crisp red apples, fresh watermelon and cantaloupe, green and red grapes, kiwi, strawberry and pineapple. The fruit on this table was sweet, delicious and never ending. This represented the fruit of the Spirit and Its live-giving blessings.
Across the room on the left side was another table. It had on it moldy cheese, rotten eggs, sour milk and spoiled fruits and vegetables. There was an odor surrounding this food. Those who were eating from this table became instantly ill. This represented sin and its consequences.
Then a thought came to my mind. My life has been a series of choices as to which buffet table I would prefer to eat from. I would love to tell you I have always chosen to eat from the table on the right, but that would be a lie. I have eaten from the table on the left; the table where I chose sin and its devastating consequences. I have eaten from this table more times than I care to admit.
But, praise God that choosing the table on the left has not been the end of my story. I have suffered the ill effects of choosing the rotten food from that table; things like strife, depression, anxiety and hurting those I love. But by God’s mercy and grace I found my way back to the beautiful table on the right. Because of Jesus Christ and the gift of His Holy Spirit I have been given access to the table on the right; the table which fills me with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
I don’t deserve a second trip through the buffet line. But, Jesus Christ bought it for me and He says I am worth receiving the better food; the food on the right side of the room. I have even been so wrong that I have gone back from the delicious, life-giving food to the rotten, sickening food and, still, Jesus offers me a clean plate. It grieves the Lord to watch me choose the table on the left. But, He is patient, kind, loving and forgiving. He calls me back to the table on the right.
“Praise You, Lord Jesus, for continually offering me Your life-giving food. Thank You, Father, for Your patience when my belly is full of the rotten food I have chosen to eat. And, thank You, Lord Jesus, for Your sacrifice which provides me the life-giving food. May Your Spirit continue to fill me and lead me to the table on the right. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.”
Kami R. Lobner