When I hear the word “fullness” I immediately think back to my summer as a counselor at Kanakuk Kamp in Branson, MO. There was a burly man named Red (of course) who took care of all the maintenance around the sprawling grounds. He and his wife lived a short walk away from the kampers’ facilities, and they seemed to take a liking to a fellow counselor and myself. I’m not quite sure why, but we were not about to question it. You see, they would occasionally invite us up to their modest home in the woods for Sunday lunch. After eating Kamp food for a few weeks (actually it wasn’t all bad), having lunch at Red’s house was a real treat.
Actually it was more than a treat, it was a feast. A feast of epic proportions. What Michael Jordan was to basketball, Red’s wife was to cooking. She would prepare (from scratch) a table crammed with at least 2, sometimes 3 meats (beef, chicken, pork, turkey) along with bowl after bowl of fresh-picked vegetables from her garden, homemade rolls or cornbread (or both), and several desserts. Oh my, I can still smell the smells. It was a slice of heaven.
After the blessing, Red and his wife would start passing plates. We would load our own plate to the brink, and dive in. This was a dream come true for a couple of twenty year old athletes. As soon as there was an opening on our plates, here came the servings around the table again. We ate and ate until we couldn’t possibly eat anymore. Then, she would bring out the desserts. “Come on boys, you have to try my homemade desserts”, she would plead – and we would oblige.
After the carnage, she would get a big grin on her face and tell us to “go stretch out in the living room”. We took her literally and grabbed a pillow from the sofa as we crumbled onto the floor to stretch out our bloated bodies. Our fullness brought Red and his wife great joy.
Psalm 16:11 – You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.
It should bring us great comfort and delight to know that God longs for our fullness as well. He desires to fill our lives with wonderful things that far outweigh even homegrown, homemade food. He wants to fill us with joy. Can you imagine being full of joy – really full – of joy? Have you ever felt that?
Well God says we can experience that in His presence. We have nothing to fear in the presence our loving, caring, extravagant Father. He longs for us to spend time with Him and takes great delight in seeing us indulge ourselves of His pleasures. The choice however is ours.
If my buddy and I had turned down the repeated offers to come to Red’s house for Sunday lunch because we were just too busy, or thought it would be uncomfortable in their presence – we would have never known the joys of their table. We would have eaten Kamp food again and settled for pretty good and missed the pleasures of their generosity. We would have missed a great blessing.
In Ephesians 3:19, Paul prays that the Ephesians will “know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, and that they would be filled with all the fullness of God”. We have the amazing opportunity, even this side of heaven, to experience a fullness like no other – the fullness of joy, the fullness of love, the fullness of peace, the fullness of God. So, why do we hesitate to run into His presence? Why do we allow ourselves to get so busy with life that we don’t take the time to rest in His presence and enjoy His pleasures? Feast at His table – and have some dessert.