Thursday, October 20, 2016

Unusual Gifts

Daily Gratitude Year 4-Day 292: Today, I am grateful for the gift of restored joy and a willing spirit. 

Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. -Psalm 51:12

This is from well known Psalm of David... Psalm 51... after his affair with Bathsheba. He had power influence and the ability to have what he wanted. For nearly every chapter of David's life his heart literately beat to do the Lord's service. Then, it happened.  A combination of events that put him in place where all he thought he wanted was right there. He didn't have to kill Uriah by his own hand. Oh no. He would simply send a soldier into battle knowing as a leader he would take the front lines with his men. Oh, David! 

David was well aware of what he had done. God knew. How... after the intimacy of their relationship... did he think he could maneuver this in such a way that God would not see what David had orchestrated? Silly David. Shameful David. 

God knew and Nathan... the prophet... confronted David with his sin. This song... Psalm 51 was written from a broken heart. Here is a little more of the verse. 

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. 
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,  and uphold me with a willing spirit. -Psalm 51:10-12 

David grew from a boyhood trust of God like a father into a relationship of best friends. David lived to serve. He listened and paused at times others would have acted. David was a warrior and a king... but he was, also, a servant. We spent an entire year in KidZone at church studying the life of David. Good stuff.  

We sang this song every week (K-6) and it is still a favorite. I think the adults gained as much as the kids. I didn't realize how powerful the lyrics were until a dear sister, Joyce Ropp, popped in to comment. It really is full of encouragement and a glimpse into David's heart for God.  

But then his transgression..oh, good grief... let's not pretty it up with a fancy word!  His sin with Bathsheba cost him. It cost her. The child conceived in sin did not live. David, despite all the wealth and jewels he had gained in his life, would not be the king to rebuild the temple. God said "no" as he had too much blood on his hands. David accepted the consequence and did all he could do to gather what the next king would need. That would be his son, by Bathsheba, Solomon. 

God's "big picture" has many short stories... longer stories and chapters in our lives and in the lives of others. We do not always see, understand or comprehend the "big picture" except to realize that at the heart of it is as loving God who wants to be in relationship with the ones he created in his image. The only ones he created with the ability to defy his natural laws and reject him. Nature does what nature is going to do. We can choose. Only we can choose. That choice is a gift. That.. is crazy love. 

But the story doesn't end there. Far from it. Their restored and renewed relationship gained something after the brokenness. David had been so good. Really good. Really faithful. Somehow, the time of separation from God gave David a new understanding of depth of God's love, forgiveness and mercy. He had experienced grace in a big way. Just as we can and do. 

There was a new joy in David's salvation.
A new understanding.
A new desire to bend David's will to fit the call of God. 

A new heart beat in David's chest. A clean one. 
A new lightness in his step as his spirit bent willingly to the Father's. 
A new heart beat. A clean heart.

From the lineage of David, Jesus would be born. Evidence of a restored relationship. 

Today, I am grateful for the gift of restored joy and a willing spirit. 

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