What song have you written in your heart that tells your life story? This story stirs after reading pages in a 2009 journal and notes in the margins of a favorite book, ‘The Search for God’s Own Heart’! Reflecting on how David’s heart was shaped from experiences he encountered and choices he made, I was encouraged to write songs/stories instead of continuously crying, shortly after Tim was healed of cancer to heaven and I was healed of cancer here in 2007. Like David, we make choices of attitude daily. Every choice - whether for good or bad - shaped David’s heart, just as choices made shape yours and mine! God can use experiences in our lives to prepare us for our life’s purpose.
In Romans 8:28 we are reminded, ‘He is able to work good in every situation for those who are called by Him, according to His purposes.’
David could have cried himself to sleep every night and stayed stuck in a cave when he made very poor choices. Yet, he sought forgiveness and set out to use his God given talents to write songs and fearlessly fight wherever he was led. David realized God was in control of timing and trusted him from fields as a shepherd, battle field as a young giant slayer, caves with his renegade soldiers, and mourner of King Saul with the nation he would be crowned King of in God’s perfect timing.
David did wrong many times and paid the consequence for his choices. The difference in David and Saul was David prayed and waited on God to guide him. David was truly a man after God’s own heart. His amazing love songs in Psalm soothe hearts longing for direction as they did when David wrote them in perilous and precious seasons of his life.
When David felt he was close to the bottom of the world in those desolate caves, he chose to look to the heights of the heavens and write this song from his heart. David’s love and longing for God to guide and help in his desperate situation so that he could praise God for what He did can be felt in Psalm 42,
“I cry aloud to the Lord; I life up my voice to the Lord for mercy. I pour out my complaint before him; before him I tell my trouble. When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who know my way… set me free from my prison so that I may praise your name.”
David reminds us of the power of love in every song he wrote and example he set through real life experiences (good and bad)! His actions were not always pleasing to God but His heart beat with love and respect for God. Through hardships and hallelujahs, David’s heart was molded by His Maker to be a great lover of God and leader of men.
What about your heart? Are you reading this story and relating to David in his cave, being hunted and hated, on a rooftop of leisure, in depths of grief, and wondering what God could do with your life after making poor choices? God was with David and will be with you and me when tough times try to destroy dreams and keep us crying in pits of pity. Though hardships and hurts try to take us down, just maybe the tough times in our lives are great gifts used to help mold our hearts?
Even in our golden years, hardships and hurts can try to steal our joy. David experienced many such times in his old age and almost threw in the towel, but his love for God rose up inside with emotions that came flowing out of him in a song. David wrote a song from his heart in 2 Samuel 22. Find it in your Bible and read it after you finish this story. David tells of all God has done for him and how he rescued him over and over from battles, depression, grief, close calls with death, distress, and the list goes on. Then, David writes how he envisions God: powerful, mighty, angry, rescuer, healer! David ends his love song with words that each of us can understand… God does all He does because God loves us so and He delights in us! Has God rescued you, healed you, helped you, been silent, been faithful and never failed you in battles of life? God loves and longs for us to be faithful and love Him. Our Father loves to love us. He delights in us. And the most amazing truth is: God loves us despite our shortcomings!
Personal messages in the margins of “Search for God’s Own Heart’ relate seasons of pain and praise for God in the love story God is allowing me to write. The scribbled love note I wrote in 2016 simply says, “God, my life is in your Hands”! In May of 2014 my hurt and happiness filled a page that ended with this plea and praise , “Thank you Lord for helping me, take care of my family, Father; I love you with all my heart”! God longs to talk with and get love letters from HIs children as we do from ours. Write to Him in journals, agendas, margins of your Bible, sing Him a song, and talk to Him throughout the day. He listens and loves to be closely connected!
In closing, I share words about love from tattered pages in my 2009 journal. “…there is a lack of love in our world. The love of God brings healing. Love never fails. Thank you for healing me God. We must love ourselves but not be in love with ourselves. Love life, love your body - take care of it. Real life is to get yourself off yourself and walk in love. God will give you a real life. Stop trying to make yourself happy and make God the love of your life. He is our source of happiness even when our hearts are broken; He puts them back together again and again. Love out loud and enjoy the journey. Write your love story”
May each of us find love songs in our hearts that will please loved ones and praise God! Sing songs and share love that reaches from here to heaven. Write notes to Valentines you might have overlooked who need to know they matter and deliver them in the spirit of love…and make every day a day to celebrate God's Love