January 13, 2009

Those Pesky New Year's Resolutions!

How are you doing with those New Year’s resolutions? If you are like me, you’ve already struggled and broken some (or all) of them! It seems that the resolutions we take to heart, the vows we make ourselves, and the promises we believe from the mouths of others, are the ones that wound us the most when they are broken.

I was thinking of King David.
Let’s look at some events of his life: the faithful child, who took care of his father’s sheep; anointed by Samuel as Israel’s future king; not a warrior, yet he conquers the Philistine giant and his praises are sung by the people; best friend of the king’s son; honored and trusted musician of King Saul; desired young man who becomes the monarch’s son-in-law. David- the classic Cinderella story. The “golden boy”. Everything good came his way. (Don’t you just hate those types?) Things couldn’t get any better.

But life didn’t stay that way.

David, Part Two: His popularity outshines that of the threatened and insecure king. Saul opened desires to kill him. So, after trying to do everything right, David becomes the hunted, as if he were this evening’s meal running in the field. Now a fugitive, David flees from his home, says goodbye to his friends, and lives a life on the road, sleeping in caves and wherever else he could find rest, feigning craziness in a time of desperation. Once beloved, now betrayed. All the while keeping an eye out for Saul. Waiting. Watching. Wondering about God, and wondering about his life.

What about Samuel’s word from the Lord? What about the promise? Where was God in all this? Was David in despair at times and disappointed? You can bet he probably was.

David, Part Three: After a turn of events, David, now about 30 years old, ascends to the throne of Judah while Israel remains under Philistine domination. Five years later, the kingdom becomes one under David’s rule. A long period of successes, both religious and military in nature, occur after this accomplishment. God is faithful to his word.

David, Part Four: the man after God’s own heart makes sinful choices causing dire consequences. David the adulterer and David the murderer; the brokenhearted father as his family falls apart and turns against him; the prideful warrior who counts his manpower to nourish his pride.

Was David disappointed now? You can read his psalms for yourself and see. Yet, through the end of his life, God is waiting for David’s return of heart.

Betrayals, disappointments, and broken dreams may be ours, but there are few disappointments greater than being let down by our own sinful choices. Realizing the frailness and weakness of our souls. Doing things we never thought we would. Watching our world crumble. The desire to replay our choices and the shame we carry eat us alive. If only we could turn back time…

Yet, in his great and merciful love, God chooses to let us start fresh every day.

Where are you today? What setbacks, betrayals, and disappointments have you encountered? Was it at your own hand or the hands of others? Whatever state you find yourself in, God is waiting for you with open arms. In Him, and only in Him, can we really trust. He is waiting for you. Just go to Him.

May the Lord bless you this week and remind you of his great love,

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