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Table for Two


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He sits by himself at a table for two. The uniformed waiter returns to his side and asks, “Would you like to go ahead and order, sir?” The man has, after all, been waiting since seven o’clock–almost half an hour.

“No, thank you,” the man smiles. “I’ll wait for her a while longer.

How about some more coffee?”

“Certainly, sir.”

The waiter returns to fill the man’s coffee cup. “Is there anything else I can get for you, sir?”

“No, thank you.”

The waiter remains standing at the table. Something tugs at his curiosity. “I don’t mean to pry, but…” His voice trails off.

“Go ahead,” the man encourages. His is strong, yet sensitive, inviting conversation.

“Why do you bother waiting for her?” the waiter finally blurts out. This man has been at the restaurant other evenings, always waiting patiently.

Says the man quietly, “Because she needs me.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes.”

“Well, sir, no offense, but assuming she needs you, she sure isn’t acting much like it. She’s stood you up three times just this week.”

“Then why do you still come here and wait?”

“Cassie said that she would be here.”

“She’s said that before,” the waiter protests. “I wouldn’t put up with it. Why do you?”

Now the man looks up, smiles at the waiter, and says simply, “Because I love her.”

As the waiter walks away, the man at the table thinks to himself. I’ve looked forward to this evening all day. I have many things, exciting things, to tell Cassie. But, more importantly, I want to hear Cassie’s voice. I want her to tell me all about her day, her triumphs, her defeats….anything, really. I have tried so many times to show Cassie how much I love her. I’d just like to know that she cares for me, too. He sips sporadically at the coffee, and loses himself in thought, knowing that Cassie is late, but still hoping that she will arrive.
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The clock says nine-thirty when the waiter returns to the man’s table. “Is there anything I can get for you?”

The chair across from the man remains empty. “No, I think that will be all for tonight. May I have the check please?”

“Yes, sir.”

When the waiter leaves, the man picks up the check. He pulls out his wallet and signs. He has enough money to have given Cassie a feast. But he takes out only enough to pay for his five cups of coffee and the tip. He stops at the front and makes reservations for tomorrow. Maybe Cassie will be able to make it, he thinks.

“Seven o’clock tomorrow for party of two?” the hostess confirms.

“That's right,” the man replies.

“Do you think she’ll come”” asks the hostess.

“Someday, yes. And I will be waiting for her.” The man buttons his overcoat and walks out of the restaurant, alone.

As the man turns toward home, Cassie turns into bed. She is tired after an evening out with friends. As she reaches toward her nightstand to set the alarm, she sees the note that she scribbled to herself last night. “7:00,” it says. “Spend some time in prayer.” She forgot again. She feels a twinge of guilt, but quickly pushes it aside. She needed that time with her friends. And now she needs her sleep. She can pray tomorrow night. Jesus will forgive her. And she’s sure he doesn’t mind.

-Adapted from an Unknown Author-

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Every time I read the above story, I am reminded of how God must feel whenever we put off our one on one time with Him. Just like in our human relationships, having quality time alone grows a relationship. God longs for us to have time alone with Him each day. He want us to really know Him, to listen and learn from Him, by reading our Bibles, His love letter to us. He also longs for us to just talk to Him in prayer, sharing our fears and struggles, experiencing his true presence and friendship.
“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent.”John 17:3
“God is a person, and in the deep of His mighty nature He thinks, wills, enjoys, feels, loves, desires and suffers as any other person may. In making himself known to us He stays by the familiar pattern of personality. He communicates with us through the avenues of our minds, our wills and our emotions.” A.W. Tozer in The Pursuit of God
In The Still Hour by Austin Phelps, the author writes, “Such a man prays because he thinks he must pray; not because he is grateful to God that he may pray. There is an unspeakable difference between ‘must’ and ‘may.’ It is his conscience that prays; it is not his heart.”

Phelps goes on to describe what this praying from the heart looks like,”...God is here, within these walls; before me, behind me, on my right hand, on my left hand. He who fills immensity has come down to me here. I am now about to bow at His feet and speak to Him. He will hear the very words I utter. I may pour forth my desires before Him, and not one syllable from my lips shall escape His ear. I may speak to Him as I would to the dearest friend I have on earth, whose hand I should grasp, and whose eye I should watch, and in the changes of whose speaking countenance I should read the interest which he felt in my story, Yes; I am about to speak to God, though I do not see Him; no image of Him aids my vision or my faith: though I do not hear his footfall around me; He is not in the wind, nor in the earthquake, nor in the fire. Yet He is here as truly as if clothed in a refulgent (shining brightly or radiantly) body, and these eyes could look upon Him, and these ears could hear the sound of His tread.”

Do we not all crave this personal presence of God in our personal time with Him? Do we not yearn for the dearest of friendships that is depicted above?

As 2021, has come upon us, it is often the time that we like to set goals in our life. We may plan to lose weight, become a better wife, a more patient mother or a great servant for Christ. These are all good things to plan for, but let us first look upon our relationship with the Lord. If we seek Him first, all of these other goals will be so much easier to work on because we will have Him right beside us holding our hands, encouraging us along.
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33
The Lord showed me that I must pursue a deeper more meaningful relationship with Him this year. I need to get over some hurdles that have been holding me back and Make Christ My Very Best Friend. Written below are the lessons that he is teaching me. They are addressed personally to me from God. You may be at a different place in your life, with different struggles and truths you need to hear. Wherever you are, I pray these truths speak to you and encourage you to examine your own relationship with Christ.

-Suzanne

My Dear Child,

1. I want you to spend quality time alone with me every day. I want you to choose me first, investing your time and attention before your TO DO List. Worship me, talk to me, share your fears, your struggles and your requests. Spend time reading my Words in the Bible. I want you to learn more and more about me every day, allowing me to fill you with my Holy Spirit so you can, overflow all of my love, joy, gentleness and goodness onto others. I know you desire to be a Godly wife, mother, friend and servant for Christ, but it starts here.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”Galatians 5:22-23
2. Please, stop making rigid rules for yourself in your relationship with me. Sing to me. Play music for me. Read one verse, or twenty verses. Pray with your eyes open or closed. Pray with a lot of words or a little. Do you know how much I love you? I just want you to come to me. I will direct you. You cannot do too much or too little, if we are in true communion together. It’s not about following what someone else thinks you should be doing. Start anywhere and use whatever tools will bring you humbly to me.
“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.”James 4:8
3. Talk to me all day long. I love our time alone every day. But remember, I am with you even as you are working, tending to your family or just resting. Turn off your audio book or music sometimes and just say hello and then we can sing or listen together. Talk to me about that prayer request that comes into your email and is burdening you. Call out to me when sadness overtakes you or when you feel down. I hear even the unspoken cries of your heart.
“Pray without ceasing.”1 Thessalonians 5:18
4. When you feel anger or frustration rising up within you, come and tell me about it. Remember that pretty journal I gave you, I want you to use it and write letters to me. It will help you to be honest, to get your feelings out. When you have a disagreement with your husband, or are upset with your children, come to me. Remember I am teaching you to STOP, give that situation over to me and then to thank me for the blessings you are missing right in front of you. Writing it out will help you be objective. It will help you to change your wrong thinking and replace in with truth. I know it is hard for you to give up your personal rights (the right to be apologized to, the right to be right, the right to get your own way.) But you know this is not the attitude you need to have. You must humble yourself and see things the way I see them. There were good intentions, or a miscommunication, or yes they may have been in the wrong, but let me take care of that. Complaining, nagging or getting angry will not change them. But if you allow me, I can change them. I am here. Trust me and give me your burden.
"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”Matthew 11:28
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”Proverbs 3:5-6
5. I want you to have true Biblical fellowship and accountability in your life. You asked me for friends you could truly fellowship with and I have given them to you. You need their accountability and they need yours. You will encourage and strengthen one another as you share with one another what I am teaching you individually. It is good to have that friend who is willing to gentle nudge you in the right direction from time to time. It is easy to get blinded and to forget the good and right things.
“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” James 5:16
“Iron sharpenth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.”Proverbs 27:17
6. You must be careful how you invest your time. You know there is a great pull from the world to focus on worldly things. There are things that may seem good, but will only bring you unhappiness. There are a lot of appealing things out there that may not be best for you. Be careful what you listen to and what you watch. Watch out for the pull of social media, as it is easy to get consumed with mindless scrolling or to become discontent by seeing only the happy moments of others. These things can be used for good and for times of rest but please do not become consumed by them. I want nothing to be more important than me. I know you love reading. Read biographies of the men and woman of faith, learn a new skill or pursue something creative. Use music to worship me or to cheer up a grumpy attitude. Learn how to study the Bible better, how to teach and disciple others.
“Whenever we become consumed with what is foolish and trivial, we will also surely find ourselves failing to pray…We lose sight of the primary thing in life- our relationship with God. We foolishly and frivolously begin to spend our very limited and priceless time and our already insufficient energy on wrong and inferior things.”Elizabeth George, A Woman’s Call to Prayer
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”Philippians 4:8
7. Finally, you must receive my grace when you fail or fall short. There is a regular battle within yourself to put me first. It is because my enemy, the devil, knows how important and powerful this relationship we have together is and seeks to destroy it. There will be times when you will fail or fall short. You are not infallible. You may forget our time together, ignore me, or let your sin come between us. I implore you to seek my forgiveness as soon as you recognize it. I still love you and will give you my grace and my forgiveness. I promise I will help you. I promise I will never leave you.
“The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy…For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”Psalm 103:8,11-12
“…for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”Hebrews 13:5b
“This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness."Lamentations 3:21-23
Love,
Your Lord and Saviour

I encourage you to look inward. Are you experiencing the true presence of God in your life? Is Christ your dearest friend?
“… Cease the wandering, crave the tangible presence of the Saviour. Place yourself in that humble, needy position every morning and beg Him to still be nearer to you. Move not without His prompting and speak not without His grace. Beg for His presence to be felt through your being. Hand Him the reins, your heart, your plans and your passions. Safe are they with Him…Purposefully choose Desperate Dependence. Your Life will never be the same.”Elizabeth Roy from “Desperately Dependent”

Want to Dig a Little Deeper?
Check out these books:

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A Place of Quiet Rest, Find Intimacy with God Through a Daily Devotional Life by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

A Woman’s Call to Prayer, Making Your Desire to Pray a Reality by Elizabeth George

The Still Hour, or Communion with God by Austin Phelps

“Desperately Dependent” Elizabeth Roy (article in Grace and Honor)

The Pursuit of God, The Human Thirst for the Divine by A.W. Tozer

Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, Finding Intimacy with God in the Busyness of Life by Joanne Weaver
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