Dave was having a spectacularly crummy day.
I won’t bore you with a list of the crummyness. This is an interactive post.
Take just a minute or two and think about your most recent crummy day. Remember all those attitude-crushing, embarrassing, negatively-charged things that happened? How they went on? And on? And ON, each one leapfrogging over the last one, almost like somebody programmed the day to mess you up? Like they have an app for that? Remember how you felt inside, how you’d just as soon have pitched the entire deal and started over?
Let’s just say if that day—okay, that month was a fish ol’ Dave would’ve thrown it back.
His son, Sal, had decided Dadster was definitely not up to running the family biz any more and needed to go. Being a product of a self-serving, arrogant generation having zero appreciation for what his father had done to build things as successfully as he had, Sal wanted to hurry things along.
He put out a hit on his dad.
Huh. Quite the kid. Waxed beard. Long hair. Got the earring thing going. Probably used conditioner.
If you were in Dave’s shoes, they’d probably be a pair of Adidas. New Balance. As in running.
And you’d be looking for some serious assistance.
Dave was sensible. He ran. And despite the calloused treatment by his own son, he wouldn’t let his guys kill Sal.
This could be a novel, couldn’t it? Somebody should write about this, you say? Well, they did.
Dave did. You’ll find it in Psalm 3.
“Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! Many are they that rise up against me. Many there be which say of my soul, ‘There is no help for him in God!’ But thou, O LORD, are a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter of my head. I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. I laid me down and slept; I awoke; for the LORD sustained me!”
Yep. King James and everything. Know why?
Because that’s exactly the way we sang it Sunday morning. That’s exactly the way I was mentally singing it when I was awakened at 3 this morning. Two neighborhood cats decided to have a difference of opinion outside my window. The white-and-butterscotch one had a real attitude. I’m guessing the other one was trying with scant success to adjust it. The feline fest had already awakened me. The dogs and neighbors would have been underwhelmed had I started singing. Discretion seemed reasonable.
“Dan, you have this knack of cruising along and then suddenly dunking us, laughing, in the middle of some funny stuff. Why?”
Because things are going to get serious now.
See if you haven’t felt like this: O LORD, I have so many enemies; so many are against me. So many are saying, “God will never rescue him!”
I sure have. It hurts to be surrounded by people who could care less about your Christian witness and your daily walk by faith. It stings to be hemmed in by professional religious people who belittle and make fun of your Christian standards. “Hiyo, dinosawah!” “What museum she come out of?” “Seriously? You’re depending on god–as if (s)he actually exists, wink-wink-nod-nod.” “I know, right?” “Oh. You’re another one of those…”
It’s tough to hang in when so many are hanging out.
But You, O LORD, are a shield around me, my glory, and the one who lifts my head high.” Think about it. As a man or woman of authentic faith in Christ, God is shielding you. What, exactly, has God kept from hitting you that could’ve, maybe would’ve taken you out had His protection not been there? It’s nice to have a common source of protection; but David made this personal: “You…are a shield around me.” How cool is that? No matter how many others there are needing His shielding and cover, He makes sure I know His protection is personalized, customized just for me.
What do you have that God didn’t give you? What have you done, who have you become that God didn’t make possible? Sal – okay, Absalom – made a common mistake of people who are Christian-but-not-really. He assumed it was his own brilliance, ability, talent and drive that created his awesomeness.
Dave knew better. Having one of your kids gunning for you is plenty of reason to hang your head. Knowing that those you horsey-jiggled on your knee are trying to take over and/or destroy everything you’ve built in your life gives a lot of reasons to be dejected.
You and I both have felt it. Sitting there, gaze on the ground, eyes out of focus, wondering if you’d done anything right. Right? Then it’s like you actually feel this huge, curled finger catch you under the chin, gently lifting until you’re looking into eyes that saw Mary from the cross: “Come on. This is nothing new. I got this. Walk with Me . . .”
I cried out to the LORD, and he answered me. . . I lay down and slept. I woke up in safety, for the LORD was watching over me.
Confucius and the Buddha had much wisdom to share; many who follow their teachings are persons of depth, peace and purpose. Yet those they follow cannot answer them. The world-altering difference between every other leader of world religions and Jesus the Christ is that He alone is no longer in the grave where He was interred.
When you call on anyone else, all you have are who they were and what they said then.
When you call on Jesus, Someone is listening and what He said when here He still says in your heart. There’s a spirit-link that comes from a personal relationship. There’s a sense that He loves you, is protective of you and He’s got your back–no matter who else doesn’t.
It shouldn’t seem strange, then, that although a couple of random cats fighting in the wee morning hours first woke me up, what was running through my heart, mind and spirit was what we were singing together Sunday morning.
“But Thou, O LORD, are a shield for me, my glory and the lifter of my head!”
Some day I want to thank Dave for jotting his thoughts down while on the run. Can’t have been easy, putting his thoughts and feelings and impressions out there for people to read.
But, then, that’s what good writers do–draw the reader right into the story.
“Hey, yeah. I’ve felt that way.”
Good thing the Bible involved a lot of good writers, huh?
© D. Dean Boone September 2013