Life has been chaotic lately. A whirlwind of work, doctor`s appointments, curling season getting into full swing, and the countdown to Christmas has begun! Somehow it seems, despite our best efforts, things keep slipping away on us. Bills are paid late, the baby room remains untouched, mountains of laundry remain homeless, but despite all of that I can’t help but feel truly lucky. I feel my baby moving inside me and growing stronger day by day, I have a husband that supports and encourages and inspires me, I have an incredible group of women to work alongside, a roof over my head, food in my belly, breath in my body, passion and emotion in my soul, and people in my life that I can pour my heart into. How seldom we acknowledge how much we have and admit to how little we need. We are so possessed by want, greed, pride, covet, and the list goes on – and naturally, we are unhappy and we stumble.
One of our closest friends was sharing a message in church on Sunday. The topic was David and Bathsheba, not a common topic in the church – it’s one we like to avoid – and my friend pointed something out that has stuck with me. We like to look at David as someone extraordinary – humble, anointed, hand-picked by God Almighty to rule His people, a man after God’s own heart. David the Shepherd, David the Giant Slayer, David the Psalmist, David the King. Yet through this account we see another side of David – proud, reckless, cunning, adulterer, and murderer. Bathsheba, as she enters the picture, achieves a starring role in the ‘Fall of David’. We don’t like to look at such a shining example of godliness as human, equally susceptible to temptation as we are. We like to look at these examples as somewhere between the realms of divine and human, much like Hercules. Ironic, isn’t it? We spend so much of our lives searching for connection based on common ground.
How many times have you caught yourself saying, “You can’t understand because you’re not living it. Your situation is so different than mine. How can I possibly live up to these unrealistic expectations, I’m not perfect!”? I’ve said it more times than I could count and it’s a habit I’ve put time and effort into unlearning. Yet we spend equally as much time searching for connection based on inspiration and admiration. We want someone to look up to, someone whose example we can follow, someone who can lead us and encourage us and catch us when we fall. What really makes ‘heroes’ like David great is their humanity. They aren’t examples of unattainable greatness we can never live up to but examples of the potential we have to reach astounding heights of greatness and goodness if we allow our path to be lit by the right guide. They are also reminders of our humanity and our need for redemption and grace, regardless of how pure our hearts or how good our intentions. At the end of the day we need something greater than ourselves and as I grow older and step into new roles, first wife and now mother, I realize how desperately I need God and how desperately I desire to be close to Him. I don’t want to surround myself with people who are prestigious on the social ladder for whatever reason, or who spend every weekend partying, or who spend every moment of their days trying so hard to maintain a facade of perfection that they are led to not only judge those around them but also to live in fear of their own failures.
All my life I spent trying to fit myself into a mold – I’ve put on the mask of so many ‘types’ in order to fit in I never considered what ‘type’ I wanted to be. I spent so much time surrounding myself with people that fit into the current type I was trying to be I didn’t make many lasting or meaningful connections. All the pettiness of worldly things seems less and less important as my responsibilities increase and my interest shifts from ‘fitting in’ to ‘being fit’ – fit for whatever challenges arise, fit for whatever roles I take on, fit for whatever God has planned for me. I guess another way to put it would be to say that my ‘Peter Pan Syndrome’ is slowly taking a backseat to a very real sense of having actually become a grown up and as my perspective changes from clinging to the simpler days as a child and adolescent to embracing this foreign path of responsible adulthood, I become more and more comfortable with that idea. The notion of leaving one way of life behind and embarking on a new path becomes less frightening as I accept the fact that it is inevitable, and I can either welcome it with open arms or become lost in a distorted ‘Peter Pan’ perspective.
For a while now I’ve been obsessed with a new house, a new car, new clothes, a new haircut, and I find myself feeling a need to compete with those around me. Though I still would like to invest in some of those things one day I have finally realized how empty life is when the acquirement of ‘stuff’ is all you live for – when each day at work is about the money you brought in that day and each pay cheque is about getting another step closer to checking off an item from your list of ‘stuff you need’. As our family grows we will need a new vehicle and a new home, and as you mature and settle into different roles or chapters in life your style, interests, etc. shift – but should I be relying on myself to make these things happen? Should I waste away stressing over how near or far we are to achieving those things? Or should I be focusing on what truly matters, following God’s path for me and trusting that He will always provide for us. Does that mean we get a free ride? Absolutely not. That’s not reality and there’s no sense of achievement in that. I still want to work hard and put all I have into living a purposeful and rewarding life. You don’t have a great day due to sheer dumb luck, you have a great day because you make it one – primarily with a good attitude.
So what does all that have to do with David? Let’s just say I experienced a profound sense of comfort as I thought about such a great man making such big mistakes and failing so miserably. David, a man who loved God so much and was given such great purpose and was blessed with the best the world could offer, somehow found himself wanting. Though he had it all the grass was still greener on the other side. Lately I’ve been dealing with a lot of fear and doubt and frustration – becoming a mother, finances, providing for our child and (hopefully) our future children, my future in general, and even my own salvation. Have you ever felt so helpless that you’ve deemed yourself a lost cause? Have you ever had a moment where you look at your life and think, this might be it for me – things may never get better and things may never change? Have you ever wondered, am I good enough? Have I truly been forgiven? Is there enough grace for someone like me? I can’t help but feel that David must have had a lot of the same thoughts in his head at that time in his life, but things turned out okay. Although David was in many ways undeserving God continued to use him for a good and great purpose – of David came Solomon, and eventually David’s lineage connected to God’s own son and the Saviour of all – Jesus Christ. If this is the case, can I not still be used for a good and great purpose? Can I not still be forgiven and graciously redeemed? Can I not still be given a future and a hope?
At the end of the day I will continue to mess up, I will continue to be undeserving, and I will continue to stumble – but isn’t it awesome to have an example that reminds us that it’s never too late to be saved and as many times as we fail, God can use all things for His greater purpose? Is it not also awesome to have in that same example, something to aspire for? Goodness, greatness, and a love for God so deep that we may be described as having been, “after God’s own heart”?
And so concludes my most recent jumble of thought! As always, thanks for reading and be blessed.