Wednesday, July 25, 2018
Whereas it was in Your Heart ✽ 1 Chronicles 6
(Quick note before I dive into this blog post... that picture of the metal heart? That's a picture of the metal workings on a canon at Jamestown. It always makes me laugh a little bit that we found that there!)
I have been continuing to read through the bible once again, and am currently in 2 Corinthians. I don't usually go through this slowly, but I have changed up how I go about my devotions once again, gong through the bible and doing bible studies at the same time, and so it's working out well for me to go at slower pace for my read-through. I like to try to read through the whole bible at least once every year :). I'm also doing chronological right now, which is neat :).
Solomon just dedicated the temple in my reading, and says these words, which, coupled with some of the things that are shared in the passages leading up, really stood out to me this time, despite having read them many times before:
"But the Lord said to David my Father, 'Whereas it was in your heart to build a house for my name, you did well that it was in your heart. Nevertheless, it is not you who shall build the house, but your son who shall be born to you shall build the house for my name." -2 Chronicles 6:8&9
David had a desire that he would be able to provide the ark of the covenant a permanent resting place in Israel, and that they would have a house dedicated to the worship of their God, a way to show their respect and reverence for the one true God. This was a wonderful desire, and a thing that anyone would assume he was called to do, as it was on his heart; but God told him no.
David's reign had been to bring peace to the land of Israel, but because that endeavor had cost much in the way of war, God told David he was not to build the temple; he was to leave this to his son, who would come into a kingdom already secured in peace. But God does't tell David that he needs to forget that desire, in fact, He tells David, "you did well that it was in your heart". Just because it didn't fall to David to bring about this work, didn't mean it was a bad thing that he longed for it.
And so David didn't give up that longing to see the temple of the Lord build. He didn't disobey and build it anyway, and he knew he would never actually see the finished project. But he didn't huff and sit back because he couldn't be the one privileged to carry out the job. Instead, he still wanted to see to it that he did all he could do to make sure that his son was able to carry out this desire. He couldn't build the temple himself, but he could provide for his son all that he would need to build it after David was gone.
We read in 1 Chronicles 28 that David had put extensive work into drawing up the plans for the temple. David divided up the work between the Levites, David drew the plans for the building, David gathered up the materials needed, and David encouraged the people in the coming work. David may not have built the temple, but he enabled the Israelites to do so as far as he was able.
And that was just really beautiful to me, and it made me think, what desires are on our hearts? They may be noble, godly desires, but our circumstances may hold us back from accomplishing the work. Do we give up in despair? Do we try to pretend that the desire is not there? Do we maybe think that it's not fair that we can't do something that fills us with so much passion?
Our circumstances might be temporary, or the Lord might never change them. Are we holding onto the fact that someday it will be different and just gritting our teeth until things change? If they never change, will we have wasted our entire life waiting?
I know a wonderful woman who loves children, would love to bring up a family someday, and would love to foster. But her circumstances don't allow that right now. But she hasn't left that stop her; she works with children all the time, giving their families help in bringing them up, and frequently babysits for fostering and adoptive families for free as a ministry, enabling them to continue on with their good work refreshed and supported. Just like David, she may not be allowed to fulfill that desire directly, but she hasn't ignored it; instead, she expresses it through another channel, enabling others to do what she herself feels called to. Which in turn means she is also doing what she was called to do, it just looked differently than she expected at this time! I think it's something we all could learn from. Because sometimes, yes, we just aren't working hard enough (that's a whole other side to this, that I won't get into; if you know that you could do what you are called to do and won't, that's totally different!), but what do we do when it's truly impossible to do what we thought we were called to do? Might we be trying to accomplish the work in ways we weren't meant to?
So what about us? What are our heart desires that don't seem to be able to tangibly work out? How could we re-direct those good things into something useful? Who has the right circumstances for that work, but needs enabled or mentored or encouraged or supported in actually accomplishing it? Can we offer that to them, and follow the ministries the Lord has laid on our heart in a way that may feel less direct, but is just as needed? Because who knows, maybe that is just why it has been laid on our hearts!
Rejoicing in Hope,