The past couple of weeks, I have been studying the life of David and Saul. The story has all of the twist and turns of an action packed thriller. There is betrayal, a love story, and heartache. I’ve read this story dozens of times, and while I know exactly where it’s going and precisely how it ends, different themes jump out of its pages with each revisit. Generally, I comb through David’s life and look for the similarities and the differences to that of my own. Every time I finished reading the story, I came to the same conclusion: I want to be like David. I want to be a woman after God’s own heart. How noble.
However, this time when reading the script, I felt more like Saul: abandoned by God.
Conceptually, I know that God will never leave me nor forsake me, but this season has been rough. I have been in a constant state of longing, waiting, and wondering when I will, if ever I will, hear the voice of God again. I felt like I understood David when he wrote, “Why Lord do you stand far off?” Saul was anointed king of Israel and later rejected by God because he did not adhere to the instructions given to him by the prophet Samuel. Another lesson- never underestimate the consequences of disobedience. Later Samuel was sent by the Lord to go and anoint David, the son of Jesse, as the new King of Israel. Now David did not immediately inherit the kingdom, he spent the next fifteen years running for his life from Saul. Saul was relentless, he wanted blood, and who could blame him? History has taught us just how paranoid kings are concerning their thrones, willing to do anything to protect it. Remember, King Herod who ordered babies killed because he caught wind that another king was being born. Saul was no different. He was king and perhaps thought that if he killed David he could retain his kingship. Unfortunately for Saul, God is God and his plan would not be derailed because he was having a tantrum. I was Saul. I was having an adult sized tantrum. While I have never been anointed queen, rejected, and gone on a murderous rampage, I have been envious. For the better part of the last 12 months my primary question has been, “Why them and not me?” How rudimentary.
I have watched countless people walk into blessing after blessing and have wondered why not me? It is very difficult to be happy for someone and envious of them at the same time. I would endeavor to conclude that happiness and envy are mutually exclusive. When studying the lives of these two men, I find that they both made serious mistakes and were disobedient. The difference was how they responded when confronted. David was teachable, repentant, and sincere. Saul was not. David faced many dark days, but during his dark time, he turned to the Lord. I would turn to the Lord too, but then would turn right back around and fall back into a envious rage and ask the same old tired question, “Why them and not me?” Back where I started.
How does one honestly rid them self of envy? Saul had his lucid moments but soon fell back into his old ways. I don’t want to be like that. I don’t want to be the type of woman who cannot be happy for another woman’s success because I feel like I am not successful. But how do you do that?
These days I pray harder. Whenever I feel myself falling back into wanting what someone else has, I pray. I tell myself that I don’t want what someone else has, I want what’s mine. I want to be like David: a woman after God’s own heart. If that is what I want, then I have to be teachable, repentant, and sincere. Day after day, time after time, I discover cross after cross, pick them up and venture to follow Christ. In the past when reading this story, it has been so easy to judge Saul and say what he should have done. Easy to judge his character, or lack-thereof. Easy to see him as the lesser of the two men. And here I am, all these years later, perhaps more spiritually adept than I have ever been, and I find that I have more in common with Saul.