The moment I finished up my fall semester with my last final, I knew I needed to be honest with myself: I was depleted, absolutely spent, all the energy and motivation I had at the beginning of the term gone as I submitted my last assignment.
By this point in the year, we’re tired. We’re in need of a fresh start, and though Christmas is such a time of joy, it’s also the season where weaknesses can surface.
There’s a lot in this world that tells us we must be constantly strong and unshakable. I find myself existing under the guise that I’m capable of taking care of everything and everyone. I live with an outpouring of myself that can border on too much. I haven’t been spending the time I need at the feet of the One who sees and knows me because I’ve been too busy.
Too busy worrying about others. Too busy getting caught up in the tempest of grades, papers, deadlines, and events. Too busy making excuses. Too busy striving to do it all and only ending up more exhausted. Too busy thinking I’m sufficient, when I’m really the one who needs nourishment.
All this time, God is whispering, “Come to the table.”
In these moments of feeling weary and worn, I’m reminded that God has not called His children to a life of emptiness or a hollow existence. He calls us to be filled with Him, but in order to do so, we have to surrender our weaknesses.
“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” -2 Corinthians 12:9-10
Paul writes in these verses that we can actually find joy in the things that break us because only then can we have knowledge of Christ’s power and the utmost sufficiency of His grace.
In this Christmas season, I think it’s important to keep in mind that when God sent Jesus to this earth, it was an invitation. It was a heaven-sent RSVP for us to decide whether or not we are going to give up our ideas of self-sufficiency and accept the freedom of His grace. It was an offer for us to join the table of God as we embrace Who Christ is.
Jesus is the Bread of Life, perfect sustenance from heaven, yet we walk around hungry because we don’t allow Him to be enough for us.
He is Living Water, but we stumble through our days dazed and parched because we think we are the ones holding it all together.
I don’t think it’s any coincidence that our Savior often found Himself around the table with His friends and followers. It was a time of restoration and fellowship, moments where His people could be in His presence and soak up His grace. As friends and followers of Jesus, we are offered the same joy.
Jesus is the greatest gatherer. From the moment He was born to His final day on earth, something about the presence and person of Jesus resonated. It resonated with the shepherds who visited Him in His lowly birthplace. It resonated with the broken and needy for whom He sacrificed Himself. His life-song sings to us even now, thousands of years later as we once again join together to celebrate Him Who made a way for our empty hearts to be overwhelmed by His fullness time and time again.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” -Matthew 11:28-30
He’s calling us to come. Come to My table, He invites. Come and gather. Come and rest. Come see My heart. Come and know that what I offer is good, holy, and satisfying. Stop striving—there’s a place for you.
Other than Jesus Himself, I can think of no gift that is more perfect than the offer to be restored in His presence, to be sustained by Him, to recline at the table of God and be made new.
Only when we find ourselves at His table can we find the strength we need to bestow His grace and love on this broken world. How can we expect to build His kingdom if we aren’t first finding our sufficiency in Him?
In this season of light and love, remember that God doesn’t require perfection at His table. All He asks is that we recognize our need for a Savior. He asks that we rest in Him.
Never fear, lovely readers. Our King has come, and He is more than enough.
-Sydney Hornsby // @sydney_hornsby