Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Dashed Hopes

“I had intended …” David had wanted to build a temple. And who better than he to do so? Hadn’t he, literally, written the book on worship? Didn’t he rescue the ark of the covenant? The temple would have been his swan song, his signature deed. David had expected to dedicate his final years to building a shrine to God. At least, that had been his intention. “I had intended to build a permanent home for the ark of the covenant of the LORD and for the footstool of our God. So I had made preparations to build it” (1 Chron. 28:2 NASB).Intentions. Preparations. But no temple. Why? Did David grow discouraged? No. He stood willing. Were the people resistant? Hardly. They gave generously. Then what happened?A conjunction happened. Conjunctions operate as the signal lights of sentences. Some, such as and, are green. Others, such as however, are yellow. A few are red. Sledgehammer red. They stop you. David got a red light. I had made preparations to build it. But God said to me, “You shall not build a house for My name because you are a man of war and have shed blood.… Your son Solomon is the one who shall build My house and My courts.” (1 Chron. 28:2–3, 6 NASB, emphasis mine)

David’s bloodthirsty temperament cost him the temple privilege. All he could do was say: I had intended … I had made preparations … But God … I’m thinking of some people who have uttered similar words. God had different plans than they did. One man waited until his midthirties to marry. Resolved to select the right spouse, he prayerfully took his time. When he found her, they moved westward, bought a ranch, and began their life together. After three short years, she was killed in an accident. I had intended … I had made preparations … But God … A young couple turned a room into a nursery. They papered walls, refinished a baby crib, but then the wife miscarried.I had intended … I had made preparations …But God … I had intended … I had made preparations … But God … What do you do with the “but God” moments in life? When God interrupts your good plans, how do you respond? The man who lost his wife has not responded well. At this writing he indwells a fog bank of anger and bitterness. The young couple is coping better. They stay active in church and prayerful about a child. And what about David? When God changed David’s plans, how did he reply? (You’ll like this.) He followed the “but God” with a “yet God.” “Yet, the LORD, the God of Israel, chose me from all the house of my father to be king over Israel forever. For He has chosen Judah to be a leader; and in the house of Judah, my father’s house, and among the sons of my father He took pleasure in me to make me king over all Israel.” (1 Chron. 28:4 NASB) Reduce the paragraph to a phrase, and it reads, “Who am I to complain? David had gone from runt to royalty, from herding sheep to leading armies, from sleeping in the pasture to living in the palace. When you are given an ice cream sundae, you don’t complain over a missing cherry.David faced the behemoth of disappointment with “yet God.” David trusted. His “but God” became a “yet God.”Who’s to say yours won’t become the same? (from Max Lucado's book Facing Your Giants)