When I grew up, I didn’t learn how to deal with conflict. As a result, like many of the people I’ve counseled over the years, I hated conflict and tried to avoid it. Recently I was reading a commentary on Israel’s conquest of Canaan. The author said “Canaan is characterized by conflict.” Yet Moses had told them they would find rest in Canaan (Deut. 12:10). The “rest” Israel had was not a rest ‘from’ conflict; it was a rest ‘in’ conflict. I believe that's what you call a paradox—conflicting and resting at the same time.
In Psalm 23, David says God prepares a table for me in the presence of my enemies—that is to say, while you are in the middle of your battle, you will find God and be comforted. It’s hard to reconcile the image of soldiers banqueting on the battlefield. They are fighting for their lives! Soldiers just want to be done with the battle and go back home. (Sound familiar?) But David paints a different picture. In the midst of warfare, David finds peace and rest in God, describing it as a banquet.
If you're in the middle of some intense warfare, look for God’s table. It’s right there on the battlefield. When everything is going well, we tend to take God's presence for granted. But when the battle is on, we seek and find His presence. You will find Him sitting at the Banquet table. And there’s a place set for you.