My wife and I had spent the first year of our marriage in Missouri, and then we moved to Indiana to start a new ministry. Like most young couples, our only furniture was a collection of hand me down junk from our parents. That first year ended with us buying a sofa, love seat, and chair. After the move, we accepted an old table to use in our dining room, but eagerly awaited replacing it.
When we finally had enough money, the two of us went to a local store known for selling high-quality furniture. It was there that we talked to the salesman about our exact needs. At the time we spoke with him, we had limited funds and no children. I was leading a small Church with little signs of growth in the future. My wife and I confidently told the salesman we needed a huge table. We wanted one that was small but could hold no less than ten people if expanded. He looked at us curiously as I explained that we dreamed of a large family. I also told him we also hoped to one day have people into our home for meals, and we wanted a table big enough to hold everyone comfortably. Thrilled by the possibility of a bigger sale, he did not question our judgment but showed us the large dining rooms sets. The purchase was made, and we had a cozy little oak table for ten.
Since that day, we have loaded that table up and moved it into six homes. Two big bolts hold the pedestal to the top, and I can take it apart in less than fifteen minutes, and it is ready to move. It has gained scratches from the years of use and travel, but it remains in decent shape after twenty-five years. I have been blessed to watch my four boys sit around it with my wife and me as they grew up. We have hosted family and friends through the years and shared many good times around that old oak table.
The other night my wife and I hosted a meeting of Church people we call “Dinner Circles.” It was four other families and us. Sitting there at the head of the table, I saw a dream from twenty-five years ago come true. We were blessed to have a table full of ten adults sharing a meal in our dining room, and all of us had plenty of space to eat and enjoy each other’s company.
For me, this table is a tale in making plans and God fulfilling them in your life. My wife and I have never longed for possessions or fame. We wanted God to give us a family and friends with whom we could share our lives in the name of Jesus. He has blessed us enormously with both of our dreams. We hope this is one of many times that our home, life, and table will be full of people for the glory of God.
Sometimes you need to buy the bigger table. Not because it is more expensive and a symbol of your status, but rather because you want to leave enough space in your life for God to work. It gives you the ability to connect with other people in his name when the time comes. It doesn’t usually happen immediately, but one day your table will be full.