While there are a lot of life stories in the Old Testament, I think that David's stands out as an example of someone who was willing to share his highs and lows to bring God glory and praise.
David had some amazing highlights. He began as a shepherd boy who cared for sheep, and he became a king chosen by God. As a youth, he learned Goliath was blaspheming God, and no one could stop him. So David fearlessly went into battle armed with only a slingshot, five smooth stones, and a desire to defend God.
As a grown man he was a great warrior, yet he also knew how to exercise restraint. For example, when he could have killed Saul, he chose not to because David believed him to be the Lord's anointed.
David was an accomplished musician and songwriter. In addition, he was perhaps the finest worship leader the ancient world had ever seen. With his eyes fixed on his God, he worshipped full-on, abandoning everything else to the point where even his own wife mocked him. Perhaps because of his zeal, he was the only person in Scripture called "a man after [God's] own heart" (Acts 13:22)
From his highlights, David had many admirable qualities. But when we look at his lowlights, we learn he wasn't exactly a saint.
God warned David not to take a census, but he did anyway. As a result, God sent a plague and seventy thousand people perished. David misused his power and didn't go to war when he should have. That resulted in a string of deadly decisions. First, he committed adultery with Bathsheba. Then he arranged to have her husband, his friend Uriah, murdered on the battlefield. Later, his and Bathsheba's baby son died, and we become witnesses to his guilt and grief.
So there it is - David's story. What a tangled mess! Why would David want to tell us about this? Why wouldn't he just bury those lowlights instead of writing about them in the psalms?
It's because David knew he wasn't the hero of the story.
And by writing about how God saved him, David believed we would make God the hero of our stories too.
David was clear on his role in his story. He was the sinner. God was the Savior. Where David failed, God prevailied; He restored and redeemed what David couldn't do on his own. David was confident that when people saw what God had done for him, they would recognize that they are the sinner in their own story. If they saw how faithful God was to redeem David's story, they'd also see how faithful God is to redeem theirs. David willingly shared his story out of his thankfulness for what God had done.
God can redeem not only every life, but every season of our life, every addiction, every lie, every failed marriage, every financial crisis, every jealous thought, every bad mood, and every deep, dark secret.
When we let others know where we came from and how He saved us from our own pit, we become an extension of that arm of redemption.
So what is your story?
Hopefully, David's story will encourage you to believe that God is the hero of your story, and He can redeem your darkest moments just as he did David's.
But God wants us to go even further.
He wants each of us to share our stories.
Consider the Samaritan woman at the well. Could there have been a less worthy story for God to use to bring the Samaritans to faith? Yet we know that many people from the town believed in Jesus because of her testimony. What if the Samaritan woman hadn't been willing to tell her story? What if she had run back home and quietly pondered in solitude all that Jesus had told her? Would anything have changed in Samaria? Would anyone have become a believer?
Could failing to tell our story mean we miss out on the blessing of being used by God?
We've all been blessed by David's words. We find such comfort in them that they're often quoted when we need comfort the most. Don't you think he's thankful to have played a part in that, even if it meant publicly sharing his worst moments? Think of how often we turn to Psalms for comfort.
What if David's psalms were missing?
When God Doesn't Fix It
by Laura Story
If you feel God leading you to share your story, please email them to GodStories@palmyragrace.org.