I was a church kid. We went to church Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night, and anytime in between the doors were open, we were there. I went to Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, you name it. And since I've been an adult, I've pretty much done it all at church too. I've taught Sunday School, been a Kids Camp Counselor, sang on the worship team, been a Youth Sponsor, lead a ladies Bible study. I know all the old hymns, and not just the first verse. I remember all those Bible stories from my Sunday School days too. Moses and the parting of the Red Sea. Daniel in the lion's den. Noah building the ark. David and Goliath. Yep, everybody remembers that one. The young man with a sling shot and five stones who took down the giant Goliath. What a story of courage.
Well, David grew up. He spent years running from King Saul. And he made some huge mistakes. David committed adultery. David committed murder. And David paid mightily for his sins. II Samuel 12:10 tells us that the Lord told David that the sword would never depart from his house. The baby that David had with Bathsheba died. David's son Amnon raped his own sister Tamar. David's beloved son, Absalom, was killed.
And yet, through all this David loved the Lord. David never forgot that he was nothing without God. And in the midst of all of this turmoil and heartache, listen to David's prayer - Psalm 27:4 "One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple."
Now I can tell you I have had some bad times in my life. And in those times I have cried out to God. And when I cried out I will be honest and tell you that I was begging God to FIX the problem. Save my loved one. Heal the sickness. Forgive me of my sins. But not David. In the midst of the mess David had made of his life, the ONE THING he asked of God was that he would dwell in the house of the Lord forever, and to gaze upon his beauty.
Oh, if we could just be more like David. If we could get our eyes off of the situation, off of the problem, off of the sickness, off of the turmoil, and just seek Jesus. I struggle with this many times. It is easy to praise the Lord in the good times, but in the bad times, when I'm face down on the floor crying before God I've got my eyes on the situation and I'm begging God to help me. But what if, instead of asking Him, once again, to change something in my life, I asked Him to change me. I asked Him to change my heart so that He is the ONE THING that I desire above all else.
II Corinthians 4:18 "While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporary; but the things which are not seen are eternal." This is what David had figured out. That what we endure here on earth doesn't last. That heartache that seems too much to bear, it is temporary. That situation that doesn't ever seem to get any better, one day it will be erased from my memory. The only thing that lasts is Jesus.
So today, I am praying Psalm 27:4 into my own life. "One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek Him in His temple." My desire is to spend eternity with Him, and to rest in His peace until that day.