What do a king and a dog have in common?

12:48 PMHeather

I'm still knee deep in my exploration of David's life through Jennie Allen's Bible study called Chase.  I feel as though a million little insights are flying in my face and I'm still trying to connect them all.  To make sense of them all.  To soak them in and understand them.  And learn to live them out.  Learn to dissect what they mean for me.  And how I can change and be changed.  

One lesson in particular has become more clear, and to be honest, it's a little disconcerting at first glance.  You see, yesterday, as I pondered David and his life, I realized just how much I think David was like my dog Murphy.  There's a doctorate thesis suggestion for some seminary student somewhere.  How David is like a dog.

Bear with me.  I think this might be important.

My idea of who David was has been turned upside down.  Isn't it fun that after 42 years of church life I can be humbled by how much I still don't know and how much I've misunderstood from Biblical content?  You see, to me, David has been this superhero of mammoth proportions whose life was characterized by a series of facts and stories.  As if he lived solely in the titles that summarized his life's chapters.  David the Shepherd.  David the Giant Slayer.  David the Harp Player.  David the Mighty Warrior.  David the Man-on-the-Run from Saul.  David the King.  David and Bathesheba.  David, Solomon's father. David the Temple Building Forerunner.

How shallow we can all tend to be when we look at people--Biblical character or not--by seeing only these bullet points.  We miss the person completely.  THESE are not the things that made David a man after God's own heart.  But, I realize now that I always thought they were.  

No, David is becoming a living, breathing three dimensional man to me rather than the flat main character in some fiction book.  I've come to see David as a wild man.  A passionate man.  A man whose self-image was shaped by his quiet moments in the field, abiding with sheep.  And his Mighty God.  A man who refused to receive the inferiority complex that his dad and brothers seemed to place on him.  A man who I think may have felt rejected by his family because they never saw him for who he was.  But David didn't care.  He shook the dust off and stood tall.  Because the voice he chose to listen to was the voice of His Heavenly Father.  Who surely whispered to him through the wind and sunshine and sunrises and sunsets as David spend countless hours in God's company alone.  

David was creative and artistic.  Musical.  Big on expression.  Oh, yes, indeed.  Quite expressive.  In fact, so much so that his wife chastised him for worshiping without abandon in the streets.  But, David didn't care.  He told her that he would be even more ridiculous if that is what God required.  David was a man after God's own heart because his very own human heart was set on God alone.  Oh, he fell and stumbled and made big messes.  And when he did, he fell headlong into God's grace and mercy and sought Him alone.  

He knew something that I want to learn.  I want to lean in and listen to all that David has to tell me.  Because I think it just might be life changing.  

This is where I come back around to my dog Murphy.  Murphy is our rescue dog.  He is simply adorable.  

Don't ya think?

We adopted him two years ago from a rescue organization.  We don't know his story.  Except that he was found wandering the streets.  A dog without a home.  For whatever reason.  And we knew without a doubt that we were his home from the minute we met him.  He has settled in quite nicely.  He is a mellow, sweet-natured dog.  All five of us in our family love him to pieces.  Not because of anything he does.  In fact, he doesn't do much.  He doesn't bark--except for at the occasional squirrel in the backyard.  He doesn't play fetch.  Oh, he will go get his "baby" but he won't bring it back.  He doesn't do tricks or do anything fancy.  No.  Despite our daughter's constant efforts. We don't love him because he performs.  We love him because he's ours.  We chose him to be a member of our household.  He accepted us.  And so we belong together.  

While Murphy doesn't do much, he does one thing really, really well.  He follows me around.  All day long.  If I'm up and down my stairs, he is on my heels.  Bless his heart.  Some days, he and I run miles around the house.  He is never as content as when he is near me.  That seems to be his mission in life.  To just be near me. Once I'm settled, he proceeds to just plop down, fall asleep, and rest in my presence.  Happy as long as he is close by.  Completely satisfied with our companionship.

Don't you see?  Don't you see David here?  This is what the Lord whispered to me yesterday. As I was mulling over what set David apart, walking all around the house, with Murphy hot on my heels.

God chose us.  We may have been wandering without a home.  Surely, as David must have been emotionally.  Because he was not much more than an afterthought to his family.  Like our Murphy, he needed somewhere to belong.  And with God, David found acceptance.  God made him a member of His household--long before David was anointed as king.  David was God's...and God was his.  And they simply belonged together.  God didn't choose David because of anything he could or would do.  Nope.  God just saw him, right where he was.  Exactly as he was.  And His heart ached for David, there in the lonely fields and plains.  God reached in to pour out His love. We cannot perform our way to God's embrace.  He offers it no matter what. Because He sees us right where we are.

And, oh that could learn like David seemed to do--to just be content in God's presence.  To rest there.  Peaceful.  Undisturbed.  As long as I keep myself near Him.  That I would be like my dog.  When God is on the move, that I would be quick to follow, right on His heels.  Desiring to be no where else.  Content in His companionship.  Satisfied to abide near Him.  That a day would be seen as good and worthwhile simply because I was ever near Him.  Not because of anything I accomplish or do.  But because I rest at His feet.  Ready to follow.  

I think David learned this secret.  This secret of abiding. I think it's so evident from how David followed wherever God led.  To a battlefield.  Facing a giant.  On the run from a man who sought to kill him.  Running back to God's embrace when he had wandered into sin.  Concerned with nothing else than reconciling with the only One whom he wronged.  Dancing in the streets, nearly naked.  Worshiping without abandon. Because David knew what my Murphy knows.

There is no better place than sitting at our Master's feet.  There is no better joy than abiding in His love.  There is no better peace than resting in His care.  There is no other mission, nothing so important as staying near to Him.  At the feet of Jesus.

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