I woke up this morning, it was still dark outside and inside of me it was still dark too.
Fear, shame, comparison, hung like drab curtains on the windows of my soul.
For no reason at all I felt angry with the world, with my husband, with my season, with myself.
Although the sun hadn’t yet risen over the edge of the white-capped mountains outside my house, I needed light. I flipped on the switch in the kitchen and the Christmas tree.
As it always goes, I continued searching for the light in all the wrong places. I hunted for shards of sunshine, flecks of golden yellow, in all that I created, in my possessions, my appearance, the admiration of others, the success of my relationships, and in my hard-won achievements.
The light I find there is dim, like a weary lantern, with an annoying flicker, running out of fuel.
It doesn’t last long, before the little flame dies, and darkness settles in suddenly.
In 2 Samuel 9, we meet Mephibosheth, who also tried hard to find the light switches in his life. His eyes always searching the ground though, the ground he could never walk on. With two lame legs, the light seemed to never break forth into his soul, at least not enough to bring him back to life.
Until one day, David said his name. Mephibosheth.
The Bible says he bowed deeply, abasing himself. He wanted to show respect; he felt so unworthy to even be in the presence of the King.
I picture myself, rubbing the sleep from my eyes and already waging war upon those 6am thoughts. The thoughts that tell me I’m unworthy, undeserving, a fearful cowering woman who will never amount to much. My feet hit the floor, putting on my slippers, but my hearts already there, hanging low and heavy.
I get it Mephibosheth. It doesn’t feel right does it? That a King so glorious would call us by name, let only come to find us.
King David, beaming with confidence of his choice, in the anticipation of sharing kindness, keeping a covenant, says to the him, “Don’t be frightened…I’d like to do something special for you…”
The light begins to peek through, casting shadows on the walls of his small cell.
Mephibosheth is stricken speechless. Stammering, shuffling, looking for a way out of this awkward encounter with the King, with grace.
Oh I know how it feels Mephibosheth. When the King says, I want to show you my kindness, shower you with favor, pour out my grace on YOU.
Our hearts can scarcely take it in.
This kind of love, attention, affirmation. Usually there’s strings attached, the motives are murky. Our past failures, dingy thoughts, and hurtful actions also fight on the front lines trying to keep the curtains pulled back, keeping us from believing that we will never be children of the light, we are dark, sinful things.
But David declares over him, “From now on you’ll take all your meals at my table.”
The light streams in now, the warmth is no match for the cold, dark night.
Mephibosheth replies in a sentence that could have just as easily come from my mouth or yours, “Who am I that you pay attention to a stray dog like me?”
We are lost, bedraggled, disheveled, hungry, weak, weary, ready to collapse in hopelessness. We can’t deny those parts of us can we Mephibosheth? We think we know who we are…a stray dog, wandering around without direction, hungry for love…letting our weakness define us.
I ask that question a lot too Mephibosheth, who am I?
A deep question of identity, evidence of my search for purpose, meaning, significance, I usually hear a barrage of confusing answers. Unable to make sense of them, I grow frustrated, and carry on in ignorance.
The end of the chapter closes with this picture,
“Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, taking all his meals at the king’s table. He was lame in both feet.”
The light cascades in like an untamed waterfall, nothing can stop it from shining bright!
You did it Mephibosheth! You decided to accept the invitation. You embraced your new name, your royal home, your place at the table. I bet it feels good doesn’t it?
One commentary stated that this portion of scripture is, “the greatest illustration of grace in all the Old Testament.” (Sonic Light commentary, 2 Samuel)
We were created to live in graceland, where the son eternally shines.
Mephibosheth almost refused the invitation. He was stuck in darkness, clamoring around the room for a light, anything to cast out the constant despair, the occasional doubt, the bouts of discouragement. It’s all he had ever known, this striving and stress to be more. Nothing was bright enough or lasted long enough to keep him walking in confidence along the path of abundant life.
But at last, when the light arrived and morning broke through- when the king said his name and extended the invitation- his two lame feet didn’t disappear. In fact, they were more evident than ever, but in the light he saw who he was.
A man destined to live in the King’s house, dine at His table, and bask in His provision.
I know, it’s too good to be true isn’t it Mephi? I may not have lame legs, but I carry around my share of weakness and shame, two legs that render me helpless and dependent, wanting me to stay trapped in the dark.
However, I’m flinging back the curtains, unafraid of what I’ll see in the hot, bright light…the shining truth.
King Jesus calls me by name every morning, welcoming me into my new identity found at His table. He can’t deny my two crippled and useless legs, that keep me small and slow, but that doesn’t stop Him from inviting me to the feast, where I discover that indeed I am worthy of being lavished with love and grace. I find true life is released in the Light of His presence. I am who He says I am. Instead of looking for a light switch, I simply sit here. Eating all my meals at this table.
Verses to ponder: Psalm 143:7-8, Psalm 139, Romans 5:7-9, 2 Samuel 9, Colossians 3:1-4, John 8:12, Matthew 5:14-16, Ephesians 5:8, 1 Thessalonians 5:5, John 12:36