For the last several weeks, your favorite kid has been providing some great insights of his own as you and he pick apart the 23rd psalm. You’ve gotten through the valley of the shadow of death. What might Jr. think about the Lord’s table?
Theoretical Conversation #9
You: So now you see why we don’t have to be afraid. Jesus has everything under control. The next thing that happens is the Shepherd “prepares a table before you in the presence of your enemies.”
Kid: He prepares a table? If my teacher says, “Put your books away and prepare for lunch,” then I have to get ready to go to the cafeteria. How do you get ready for a table?
You: The shepherd doesn’t get ready for a table. He gets the table ready.
Kid: Ready for what?
You: For a big party. For you. He puts all kinds of good things on your table.
Kid: Like spaghetti and chocolate cake and pecan pie, and cherry Popsicles?
You: A lot more than that.
Kid: Must be a big table!
You: It sure is. He puts everything on that table that you could ever need or want.
Kid: So food, and plates and glasses and forks and spoons and –
You: You can picture it like a fancy dinner with candlesticks and everything, but remember there’s always a deeper meaning to what the psalm talks about.
Kid: If I’m the sheep and Jesus is the Shepherd, then what is the table?
You: I think the table is your life, and God has put all these good things on your table, lots of blessings in your life.
You: And you know what? He sets you up with wonderful blessings in the middle of a bunch of your enemies.
Kid: Why would he do that?
You: I’m not sure. Maybe to show you that even when the enemies try to hurt you, your table of blessings is still there. They can’t steal any of the wonderful things God gives you. God won’t let them.
Kid: But I don’t have any enemies.
You: Everybody likes you, huh?
Kid: I think so.
You: Doe the devil like you?
Kid: He doesn’t like anybody!
You: So you do have one enemy.
Silence while he considers this bombshell.
Kid: But God won’t let the devil hurt me, just like the psalm says?
You: God promises you still have his blessings on your special table that he prepared. I think I would be mistaken if I said he never lets the devil hurt you.
UH-OH. Jr. is getting upset.
Kid: But you said before that He keeps me safe.
You: And He does. That doesn’t mean you never get hurt.
Jr. is not consoled.
You: Look. If you get a mosquito bite, does it hurt?
Kid: A little, then it itches even worse.
You: What about a bee sting?
Kid: That really hurts.
You: Does it kill you or hurt you so bad that you have to stay in a hospital for the rest of your life?
Kid (starts to relax): No. It swells up and hurts for maybe a day.
You: Well, that’s all Satan can do. He might hurt you, but when you know you’re going to spend forever with Jesus, the most Satan can try to do is sting you.
Kid: (pounds the table): Yeah! I’m getting the bug spray. The devil will be sorry if he tries to sting me!