This past weekend in the midst of incredible beauty, majestic cliff walls, ancient caves, and beautiful lakes whose waters were so still in the mist, I saw this. It spoke to me of loneliness, despair and separation. This picnic table sat in a puddle of water, in an obvious state of disrepair, all alone on the edge of a cliff overlooking a sheer drop into the crystal blue water below. It had no stain or paint to preserve it. Its top was cracked and rotting and the seats were weak and worn. Interestingly enough, this table in its aged and ugly state sat in a place of power and beauty. I was reminded of Isaiah 53 and the description of our mighty Savior. He was not beautiful in appearance. In fact what we are told in this passage is that He was what in today’s terms we would call undesirable.
“He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. (Isa 53 2b-3)
As I sat on the rock above this desolate looking table I found that I was drawn to it not because of its beauty, but because it cried out to me “I am here to show you a place of rest, I am here that you might see the splendor of my Father, I am here that you would take time to abide in my dwelling place and see what I have for you”.
Jesus Christ had nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him, yet what He has for us is more beautiful than anything our eyes can behold. He too is that resting place, He too shows us the splendor of His Father (Himself), and He too tells us to abide in Him that you bear much fruit, that you may ask for your desires and it will be given to you, that you will abide in His love and your joy may be full.
Joh 15:4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
Joh 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
Joh 15:6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.
Joh 15:7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.
Joh 15:8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
Joh 15:9 “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.
Joh 15:10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
Joh 15:11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.
Were we to abide on that ugly, worn and tattered picnic table, we would have seen all that it had to offer. Much the same, should we abide in Christ we would know all that He has to offer. Too often, we look at the outside (perhaps what we call Christianity today?) and don’t take time to look past that. Too often, we are put off by the outside appearance and fail to “see” the inner beauty of who Christ is and what He will do for us and what He is for us.
I sat at that table…………………………..