O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsts for thee, my flesh longs for you in a dry and thirsty land where no water is; to see thy power and thy glory, as I have seen you in the sanctuary. Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise you. (Ps. 63:1-3)
In our faith, David stands as a man whom God declared “after his own heart,” because he continually turned to truth over facts. This is a theme I’ve heard spoken about a lot recently, mostly from Pastor Duane George.
Truth over facts, position over predicament, purpose beyond present issues… God is constantly calling us, allowing us to look higher at what grace is creating. He’s calling us to escape our own thinking and temporary defeats.
I’ve slowly been working my way through the Psalms, and it touches me to read so many of the things David knew about God’s character- “His gentleness made me great (18:35), His thoughts toward me are more than the sands of the sea (139:18), He is mindful of me (8:4), and His lovingkindness is better than life-” but what brought him to see our Father this way?
“Innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so I can’t even look up (40:12). My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, where is your God (42:3)? The sorrow of death, the floods of ungodly men, the sorrows of hell, the snares of death surround me, cause fear, disable me (18:4).”
David was betrayed his friend, betrayed by his son, hurt by his own pride, and broken by his lust. He was hated by friends and enemies, and was promised that the sword would never leave his household. He did not speak these words lightly or out of some momentary emotional hardship. David was put through the ringer.
So how did he do it? How could he see God with love? I believe it is that phrase, Truth over facts.
David chose not to stay down, not to live in only the things he could see. He chose to live by the capability of the God who had sworn himself to Him.
David didn’t interpret his life or his view of God by his failures, but by the greatness of God’s love towards him. “Innumerable evils, but God, your thoughts towards me are more than the sand. Sorrow, shame, debilitating fear, But God, I know you are riding on the wind to answer me, to deliver me. A dry land where no water is, but can I just have your love? It is better than life itself, Father.”
These words relate to our lives, and it is our privilege in study, in Bible college classes, in failure, fear, and disappointment to think on and be encouraged by them. I don’t want to learn how good I am at failing or how blind I am on my own– I already know that nonsense!
But God, teach me to listen in prayer for You, the sufficient, sustaining, all-powerful and loving You who is better than life.
– Phil Winslow