DAVID, A MAN AFTER GOD'S OWN HEART

I expect you’ve heard that phrase before. In 2020, I began dealing with present and past unresolved hurt and pain in my life. That hurt and pain affected my marriage and my soul. As I began to work on that hurt and pain, I had to be willing to open old wounds, think and talk about difficult memories. As a result, I have been battling cynicism lately. I’ve been reading in the Psalms. Manuel and I were talking about King David the other day. I was sharing with Manuel that I’ve been angry at King David lately. I was struggling to see him as ‘a man after God’s own heart’. David had over 700 wives, one was not good enough; he took another man’s wife and killed him to have his wife and cover his sin; he completely rejected some of his wives after they had been raped by his son (whom he wouldn’t deal with as a father); his wives were innocent victims, but now, no longer good enough; and when he was old and cold and couldn’t be warmed by blankets (bless his heart), he needed yet another woman- a young beautiful virgin woman to care for him- his wives still not enough… did I say I’ve been battling cynicism?

What frightened me most was where the cynicism took me. You see in seeing all of David’s faults, I became critical of his claim of how much he loved God, His word, His promises, His statutes, His laws… MORE THAN ANYTHING…  he instead became a Jerk with a capital J.  How could he claim all this devotion, worship, adoration… with all that sin, that junk in his life. The next step into this chasm was to think of myself as better than David. I DID love God, His word, His promises, His statutes, His laws… okay, I wouldn’t go so far as saying I loved them ‘more than anything’ –I know how far I fall short of God’s grace. Step three into this chasm was to be angry, critical and doubtful of God’s love for ME- personally. Why was it necessary to go through this past hurt and pain? Why wasn’t God healing me more quickly? When would I have the marriage I dreamed of—the marriage without pain, conflict, drama…

Manuel on the other hand, when reading David, battled failure and shame—he’d read how David meditated on God’s word morning, noon and night; David sought the Lord with ALL his heart, loved God and his word more than anything. Manuel could only think about how far short he was in comparison to David. Manuel, therefore, when he read the Psalms and read for instance “ I am blameless, come and rescue me” would stop reading or finished reading without hope because he wasn’t blameless and didn’t expect God to answer him as He did David.

In our conversation, we both realized—David’s story in the Bible is not there so that we would put David on a pedestal; but that we would see God in all His glory and grace; that we would see how God loves us, just like He loved David –even while we are sinners. You see the central character in David’s story, our story, shouldn’t be ourselves. The principle person in our life should be the power and person of Jesus Christ –who He is, what He does and will do in our lives as we humble ourselves to Him in love, obedience and worship. However imperfect David was, the fact remains, he did humble himself before God in love, obedience and worship and God commended His love toward him, just as He does to me- to us.

Jeremiah 31:3 reads, "the Lord appeared to  him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, I have continued my faithfulness to you."  In the midst of difficult circumstances, it is easy to get so focused on what is not right in our lives to the point that we forget the best part of our life—that we have the everlasting love and faithfulness of the One True God. He is faithful to us because He is faithful. He loves because He IS LOVE.  I am grateful, I praise Him, I rejoice that His faithfulness is not contingent on my faithfulness—I would be eternally lost.

Although I do not want the struggles of life or of marriage, I am grateful that through them I am brought to my knees before my Lord where I find His grace to help me in my time of need. I am grateful that He never leaves me or forsakes me. I am grateful that when I seek Him, I always find Him. I am grateful for HIM. He is worthy of all my worship and all my praise. He is the one true God. He is God Almighty.

by Patti Calderon

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