Preparing for Company

Written by Julie Hayden

October 14, 2017

I love to have company! I love sitting with a cup of coffee and sharing life and love, joy and sorrow, hope and tears.   I especially love sharing a meal with folks.  I enjoy picking a place or planning a menu, thinking about what might make for a special time for others.

Many years ago when I was a  newlywed, we tried to have a different family over each week.  We loved getting to know the families in our church. We met some of the most amazing, dear saints.  We were young twenty-somethings just starting out, yet we loved hearing stories from folks who had been married double the years we had been alive.  We loved all the people God brought along our path and placed at our humble kitchen table. We learned so much about life from these table talks.  Practically, I also learned ways to simplify the meals so I would have more time with our guests.  Once they arrived, I wanted to be with the people!

My inlaws lived out of state.  When they would come, they would stay for at least a week.  We would plan their visit way in advance.  I’d prepare the guest room.  I’d make sure there were fresh linens on the bed.  I’d clean the house and set out fresh towels.  I’d prepare a menu for the week with all of their favorites – cinnamon rolls, sausage gravy, lemonade pie, Italian beef and our traditional tri-tip barbeque were sure to be on the menu.  I’d think about all the fun times we would have.  I’d make sure we had everything they would need while here.

When my inlaws arrived my favorite times would be lingering after breakfast talking at the kitchen table.  We’d sit for hours  drinking coffee and catching up. No rush.  No hurry.  No better place to be.  We had waited a year for that time.  We weren’t letting a moment pass by!

This week in our prayer gatherings we discussed visits.  Jesus actually shared about His hopes and dreams for a visit.  In Luke 19:42-44, with tears streaming down His face Jesus said, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace!  But now they are hidden from your eyes.  For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, BECAUSE YOU DID NOT KNOW THE TIME OF YOUR VISITATION.”

Oh, how sad!!!  Jesus was there to visit the city – and they missed Him!  They didn’t prepare for Him.  They didn’t see Him!  They were unprepared for the King of Glory in their midst. They went on their daily schedule and missed the most important moment of their lives.

I wonder how prepared are we?  Have we made our hearts ready for His visitation?  He is coming!  Will we be ready?  Will we be available to just be with HIm when He comes?  Will we sit with Him and hear His heart?  WIll we linger with Him and hear His plans and ways?  He wants to speak to us – it is our place of protection and safety in the days ahead.

While Jerusalem missed their visitation, a poor beggar named Bartimaeus didn’t miss his.  Luke 18:35-43 and Mark 11:46-52 recount his story.  When he heard Jesus was passing by, he didn’t hold back.  He leaned in.  He cried out “Son of David, have mercy on me!”  When people told him to shut up, he yelled out all the more!  Jesus healed the man that very day.  He did NOT miss his visitation.

I long for our day of visitation!  Jesus is coming to revive His church.  He is coming!  We are preparing our house of prayer.   He is the One Thing we are longing for.  We desire to BEHOLD HIM!  To be with Him – all the days of our lives!  We are setting an extra place at the dinner table.  We are clearing our schedule to make time for His arrival.  We are preparing the House of Prayer for King’s arrival.

“What a day that will be – when my Jesus I will see.  And I’ll look upon His face, the One who saved me by His grace…. what a day, glorious day, that will be”

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