Saturday, February 20, 2010

I'm late, I know...

...But let's pretend this post was published last week. It really would have been good for Valentine's Day:

I love the story of David. Not just David and Goliath; I love David's whole life's history. I've read through 1st and 2nd Samuel I don't know how many times, both on my own and with our family during family Bible Time. Each time I love it, and each time the books seem too short.

But I had read through David's life several times before something hit me about the part of the story where Samuel selects David to be the future king of Israel. I guess it was the state of mind I was in at the time.

I was....gulp....sigh...wondering if there really was anyone out there for me.

Do you know the feeling? You feel as if you've waited ever so long (even if you've only been on the earth a little over a decade), and you want to meet the man God has planned you to be a help meet to.

But, then wonder if such a man could really exist. The kind of man you would want to marry. There's a tiny bit of fear in your heart; what if the man God has picked out for you isn't...well...charming? What if he isn't handsome? What if he's the godliest man alive, but very ugly and boring?

You shake your head to clear such nonsense from it, telling yourself that even if such a tragedy comes to pass, you'd rather have a godly man than a handsome one...if you must pick between the two. You know what's most important. ...So why is there a lingering ache in your heart? Why are you SO convinced, despite your logic, that there is no such thing as a good-looking godly young least not one for you? You want more than good-looking. You want charming, and chivalrous, and full of life, and...and...all the things you're sure would make up the perfect one for you. But he can't possibly be all those things, and be godly at the same time.

It would be too much to expect.

Such was my state of mind that morning. Fear...that God would wed me to a man I didn't find attractive. Looking back on it now, it seems silly; how could I think that my Heavenly Father, Who loves me SO much, would "make me miserable for the rest of my life" (which I thought would assuredly be the case, if I married a man I didn't like)?

Then, lo and behold, I read these verses (I Sam. 16): (Samuel is in the midst of finding the next King of Israel)

"5...And he [Samuel] sanctified Jesse and his sons, and called them to the sacrifice.
6 And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the LORD's anointed is before him.
7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

Right about here my heart was sinking further. See? God didn't care what man's outward appearance was like. (I guess I was thinking that if a man was handsome, he was that way accidentally?) But I sighed and kept reading:

8 Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, Neither hath the LORD chosen this.
9 Then Jesse made Shammah to pass by. And he said, Neither hath the LORD chosen this.
10 Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jesse, The LORD hath not chosen these.
11 And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither.
12 And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he.
13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward."

Wait a second; I've gotta read that verse 12 again...."Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he."

Wow. I sat there thinking how much I liked David. I like him an awful lot. He was brave, energetic, just, skillful...and most of all, I love his heart for God. His zeal.

"...So I guess you don't have to be ugly to be a man of God," I thought. "You can be young, and full of life, and brave, and dashing, and heroic,...and good-looking." It was balm to my troubled soul.

I kinda claimed that verse right there. Not just because I was a silly girl worried about romance, but because it reminded me that God is a kind Heavenly Father, and that He is the Creator of all things beautiful. Not Hollywood, novelists, or magazine artists. I hadn't thought of myself as a person who paid much attention to "the world's" standards of beauty and romance, but I guess it had affected me some without me knowing it. I had started to attribute beauty to the wrong sources. I had forgotten that they didn't invent beauty.(...And in many cases, they know nothing about it.)

How can anything they dream up compare with the wonder of a sunset, the splendor of a star-studded night sky, the awesomeness of a snow-capped mountain range? And they have nothing to do with the formation of tiny, perfect, dimpled baby hands, or the roundness of a toddler's cheek, or the lopsided grin of a freckle-faced boy. They have not formed the beauty in the graceful curve of a woman's neck, or the hard muscles in a man's arm. The sparkle in a youth's eye...the brilliance of blue, brown, green, black, or hazel eyes. The radiance in a laugh. These things have but ONE Creator, and He is my Father. He is the source of all beauty, and He places it where He pleases.

The world tries to act like it has a monopoly on beauty, but we've got them beat. :) All true beauty comes from the Lord, and we know Him. ...We even get to see stuff before the world has polluted it, in some cases. Knowing Him gives us the opportunity to see more beauty than our eyes can ever hold.

I still look forward to the day I meet "the one" God has for me. But I'm not in a hurry. I hesitate to "proclaim my own goodness," (since it'll probably mean a fall on my face soon afterward,) but I think I have learned to wait without worry. I've become truly convinced that God loves me.

That means GOD. LOVES. ME. He has a plan for my prosper me, and not to harm me. Yes, there will be some rough spots in there, some pain, some aching...but it won't be the big picture.

Learning to let go and let God plan my life the way He wanted to in the first place is a tough lesson to learn, but it's finally gotten through my thick skull that His plans are good. They are lovely. They are beautiful. They are happy plans. He isn't planning for me to go through life miserable.
Even if He chooses to put me through a life like the apostle Paul's, which had more pain than I care to imagine, the good will still outweigh the bad. Because He'll be there.

Doesn't that thought just make the best Valentine's message ever?

P.S. But I still pray, every so often, "God, please...let him have a beautiful smile!"
Ah, my faith has a ways to go!

1 comment:

Ruth Ann said...

this made me smile. =) I like your thoughts, and pretty sure God smiled when He saw you realized this beautiful thing.

you know, call me odd, {and for sure I have other things in life that I struggle with}, but I have never been one who thought 'looks' were most important. I have, for as long as I can remember, earnestly desired and prayed for a Godly man - one who still stand against the tide and live giving ALL to Christ. One who made decisions based on the Word of God and diligently studies to show himself approved unto God.

It doesn't mean I don't struggle with things, but I'm thankful for the assurance that my man WILL BE handsome. At least he will be to me if nobody else thinks so. =) I'm assured of this, because God delights in giving us the desires of our hearts, and when our focus is on Him and not the outward looks/possessions/etc.. then I believe He will bless far more abundantly than we could ever desire.

It's a beautiful thing. =)

Thanks so much for sharing, I was greatly encouraged by this Amber!