I wonder how David must have felt that day when they came to get him out of the fields and brought him to meet Samuel? One minute he was singing his songs and tending his sheep, and the next he was being anointed the new king of Israel. Sounds pretty enviable until you realize what all goes along with being king. Or trying to become king.
Psalm 59 has been a mainstay for me for the last week or so. It’s a song David wrote when Saul (the current king) was chasing him down in order to kill him. I guess becoming king isn’t that enviable after all. David once concerned himself with protecting his sheep from wolves. Now the wolves were hunting him. New situations call for new kinds of songs. David wasn’t under his peaceful tree anymore, but he was still singing. Now he cries out to the Lord,
O my Strength, I will watch for you, for you, O God, are my fortress.
My God in his steadfast love will meet me; God will let me look in triumph on my enemies.
Now don’t get me wrong. I am not running for my life from bloodthirsty soldiers under orders to kill me (thankfully). But I do feel a little bit like a shepherd boy, suddenly yanked out of the field and given a new, dangerous assignment. I think I need a new song.
Last week we learned that the little guy we fostered last summer is returning to our area and needs a foster home. Would we be willing to do it? (Picture David, looking up in surprise while he was minding his own business with his sheep. Picture me, looking up in surprise while I was minding my own business on a Tuesday morning.) Would we? Yes, of course we would. Of course, of course, of course we would.
Now, a little over a week later, he is sleeping in his crib again. Playing in our family room again. Eating at our table again. We are entering into foster care again. We are entering into risk, danger, and the place of needing to cry out to the Lord every day, O my Strength, I will watch for you!
It’s a scary place, but it’s a gifted place. It’s a place where we know, without a doubt, that we need Jesus, every day. That we can’t strategize well enough to manage life on our own. That we need to drink deeply of his steadfast love every day in order to make it through.
I remember being there last summer. And though I’m a little nervous, I’m glad we’re there again. Even though singing simple songs under a tree minding my own business sounds nice, deep down I want to be a part of something bigger. Maybe David did, too. I am not becoming a king, but I am becoming a foster mom again.
So I will sing a new song with David this morning,
But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning.
For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress.
O my Strength, I will sing praises to you, for you, O God, are my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love.
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