I’ve grown to have a very special regard for grace. I suppose that’s because I’ve experienced so much grace in my life. As a younger believer, I believed in grace, but I didn’t really practice it. It’s sort of like having a valid driver’s license and owning a car, but leaving that car in the garage and walking five miles to work in the rain—you have everything you need to make the trip much drier, easier, and more productive, but you choose to not actually use it.
It’s sad that so many believers choose to live without enjoying the grace that God offers them. I don’t doubt their sincerity or salvation, but it’s sad to see them missing out on so much that God has for them, just because they couldn’t—or wouldn’t—accept and live in the freedom that is a hallmark of God’s grace.
A couple of weeks ago, our Sunday School teacher asked us to imagine what God’s throne of grace must look like. As I sought the answer to that question, I pictured the throne of Judgment, and the throne of grace as though they were side-by-side. The throne of Judgment, as I pictured it in my mind’s eye, was a dark, almost frightening place that fairly screamed of torture, heartache, and death. The throne of Grace, on the other hand, was a much different environment. I saw it as a rather warm, friendly, inviting place. It was, in fact, downright comfortable. As I meditated on the throne of Grace, I could see it in my mind’s eye, but it didn’t really resemble a throne at all—it was more like a kitchen table.
The image wasn’t one like those dainty, prissy little table settings that was made to be admired, but not actually used. This was a table of more substance, a table meant to be the hub of an active household. It’s the kind of place where friends can sit for hours over coffee, talking, sharing and laughing. It’s the sort of table where you can share your deepest, darkest struggles and heartaches, and always find a friend with a listening ear and an absorbent shoulder. It’s a place where you’re only a stranger once, and even then, it’s not for long. It’s an inviting place of life, health, joy, and peace. It’s the Kitchen Table of Grace.
Many people are afraid to come into the presence of God. They’re afraid that they won’t be “good enough,” or that God won’t want them around. Yet, in reality, God sees us standing in the distance and waves at us, telling us to come on in, take a load off your feet, and let Him cut you a slice of pie and pour you a cup of coffee. He doesn’t care where you’re coming from, and He’s sure not snooty – anyone that wants to come in is welcome, and there’s always room for one more at the Kitchen Table of Grace.
Sometimes, we get to thinking that God’s Grace is more like an exclusive private club, where we’re greeted at the door by a guy who wants to make sure that we’re really members, and that our dues are paid up and we’re properly dressed before he lets us through the door. Getting inside is a special privilege. In fact, you can only apply for membership in the club if you’ve been invited by an existing member.
God’s Grace isn’t like that at all. It’s a relaxed, comfortable place. You don’t need to know the secret password, just come on in. Everyone is invited, without exception – all you have to do is come on in.
So, what are you waiting for? Come on, pull up a chair. Have a glass of milk and some cookies. Enjoy yourself, charge up your batteries, and be refreshed. It’s God’s Kitchen Table of Grace – and there’s an empty chair here with your name on it!