The Fourth Chair
My friend Jolene and her two cousins had planned to go to Zio's restaurant for dinner, but the wait was an hour and a half. Her cousin noticed Crab Shack a block away and said, "I've always wanted to go to Crab Shack--let's go there."
After they sat down, Jolene looked at the prices on the menu and began to feel guilty. The prices were more than she had intended to spend. After ordering, the three of them began talking about Jesus-how good He was to them and how He provided for them and answered their prayers.
Jolene said, "There were four chairs there, and I could see Jesus in the fourth chair looking relaxed and enjoying our conversation. When we would brag on Him, it seemed to me that He would say, 'But I wanted to do that for you.' We kept talking about Jesus, and I could tell He was so pleased. But I still felt guilty about spending so much money on our food."
They were enjoying themselves and were oblivious to how much time was passing. Finally, the waitress came. "I'm sorry it has taken so long for us to bring you the food. The meal is on us. Plus, we want you to have dessert."
"Jesus enjoyed our visit so much, He decided to pay for our food!" Jolene exclaimed. She said to her cousins, "Didn't the four of us have a wonderful time talking?"
"But there were only three of us."
"Jesus was there in the fourth chair," Jolene replied, and I'm certain they believed her.
Plus, I suspect there is a record of their visit in a scroll in Heaven. "Then those who feared the LORD spoke with each other, and the LORD listened to what they said. In his presence, a scroll of remembrance was written to record the names of those who feared him and loved to think about him" (Malachi 3:16 NLT).
Thank You, Jesus, for enjoying every time we think of You with pleasure and speak of You to others.
"How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand" (Psalm 139:17-18).
Please pray for Kim McLean and the praise team as they meet later this month for their second song-writers' retreat. Pray for the Holy Spirit to inspire them to write songs our Lord wants to hear His people sing.