Last week I was away at a conference.
One of the mornings we had a ladies breakfast. Normally I’m up for these kinds of things but on that particular day with no caffeinated drink in my system — along with a rough night’s sleep — it was turning into a false-start kind of morning.
Other ladies entered the room. Some were caffeinated. Others were searching for caffeine. And all were looking for a seat at a table. It’s like we were sent back to middle school where we scanned the lunchroom for our friends.
- Where are my friends?
- Is there anyone I know here?
- Will they let me sit with them?
- Is there room for me?
Some ladies found their friends right away. They exchanged hugs and took their seats. Others wandered from table to table looking for a place and people to invite them in.
No matter our age or standing in life we all have moments when we wonder if we’re welcome at the table.
- Do I fit?
- Am I okay to sit here?
We struggle with the thought of being rejected and turned away. Instead of risking rejection, we stand against the wall and scan our phones. We tell ourselves, “When I look busy here, I avoid rejection there.”
Leaning against the wall feels safer than leaning in for relationship.
I’ve done this myself. I’ve found safety in the wall and my phone. But when I do this I miss out on the gift of people and community.
Right now I am reading a great book by Heather Holleman, titled Seated With Christ. She shares how we struggle with finding a place at the table.
- We feel inadequate and unworthy to sit at certain tables.
- We fight for position and hope for an invitation to sit at the prominent table.
But we forget we already have a seat at the most important table. We forget we have a seat with Him.
We don’t need to earn a seat or fight for room at the table. We are already seated with Him.
We forget who we are in Him.
- We are accepted.
- We are wanted.
- We have a place at the table.
Our place and significance is not found at a table set by others. Instead our confidence comes in understanding and believing that what Christ has already done gives us a place at His table.
- We don’t have to compete or prove we’re worthy of a seat.
- We don’t need to push someone out of the way to get our seat.
- And there isn’t a limited number of seats, nor a level of importance.
In a room full of accomplished, put-together people we can feel inadequate. We can think what we do or what we have to offer is small compared to what others bring to the table.
But in Ephesians, Paul goes on to share about our seat at the table….
God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages He might show the incomparable riches of His grace, expressed in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith— and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. ~ Ephesians 2:6-10 (NIV)
It’s not about whether what we bring to the table is bigger or better than what others bring that gives us a seat at the table.
We are already loved and accepted. We have a seat at the table.
We are God’s handiwork created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
God uniquely created us for a place at the table. Our place is not standing against the wall but He invites us over and welcomes us to sit at His table.
The breakfast I was at last week was a perfect example of this. Every woman had a seat. Every woman was invited in and welcomed around the tables. Women from different backgrounds, ministry roles and vocations shared how God uniquely created them for their place in life.
Sometimes our own thoughts of inadequacy, fear or insecurity keep us standing against the wall instead of sitting at the table.
And that, my friend, is when we must take those brave steps away from the wall and join the table — the table God has prepared with amazing, unique plans just for us.
That’s the beauty of this life with Christ — we all have a seat at the table.
Linking up with: Grace and Truth