Abishag’s Desire

This isn’t a questionable blogpost. Although it sounds racy in nature, it actually is an ongoing spiritual battle for me, and probably for most of you readers as well. First, let me remind or tell you who Abishag was.

I Kings chapter 1:  King David is nearly on his deathbed, a man so old that it is impossible for him to get warm. The king’s servants throw blanket after blanket on him, but still he is cold. So they suggest finding a young virgin to lay with him in a non-sexual way to warm him up. The kingdom is searched high and low and Abishag the Shunammite, known for her beauty, is selected.

At this point I’m wondering why one of David’s wives or concubines isn’t brought in, but no matter. The second thought to strike is, what about Abishag’s life? I’m assuming that after being the king’s sleeping partner, sexually or not, she wouldn’t exactly be marriageable material. Didn’t she have dreams of marriage? Was she pleased at the news of being selected to keep the elderly king warm in bed? Was this a priveledge for her?

Or was she cringing inside?

I personally believe she was cringing inside, and whether or not that was the case, this belief exposed something nasty lurking in the corners of my heart:  SELFISHNESS. Ugh, here we go again.

Abishag’s story continues in I Kings chapter 2. King David’s second son Adonijah tries to take the throne over Solomon, whom the LORD had selected to reign next. Adonijah is stopped and then he asks Bathsheba, Solomon’s mom, to plead with Solomon, now king, for Abishag to take as Adonijah’s wife. Solomon refuses the request and has Adonijah put to death.

Whoa, wait a minute. Did Abishag even know Adonijah? King David dies before Adinojah’s request, but did he ever even talk to her, let alone love her? Or was he simply using her as a pawn in a political game? And what about Abishag? If she did know and love Adonijah, what then? What about Abishag’s desire for love and marriage? Furthermore, what happened to her in the end? I’m sure she was cared for while in the king’s safekeeping, but did she die there or did she marry for love?

Too often, these little side stories in the Bible leave me frustrated with questions. Often they reveal the sin of my own heart. I am consumed with selfishness.

I want to be a person willing to serve wherever and in whatever capacity God calls me to without complaint or grumbling. I can only do this if I lay down my own desire.

What do you think happened to Abishag?

Three Choices

We all know about genies and three wishes. Of course as Christians, we know we have something better–God and Christ and the Spirit alive in us. And while a genie centers on the immediate physical,  God is interested in our ongoing heart transformation. And sometimes God lays before us three choices.

I was reading yesterday in 2 Samuel 24.  David was nearing the end of his reign as king of Israel and takes a census of the people without God’s consent. In so doing, David sins. God reacts by giving David three choices:  three years of famine in Israel, three months of being pursued by his enemies or three days of pestilence.

David chooses the three days of pestilence which honestly made me wonder why he didn’t choose the three months of enemy pursuit; after all, David was known for his successful evasion of the enemy time and time again. I wonder if he was simply weary of enemies.

Yesterday God laid before me three choices in a particular situation to test my own faith.

I was waiting at a doctor’s office when an elderly woman with an amputated leg was wheeled in by a man who left her there, returned with paperwork and then left again. He was a senior services driver. The woman was placed right in front of the desk where she clutched a half-eaten sandwich in her hand and drifted off to sleep. People had to step around her to check in. I sat across from her wondering if I should do something for her. I longed to know her story or even her name, but I did nothing, said nothing.

This morning I realized my choice had been wrong from God’s perspective. I chose to do nothing, not wanting to interfere, and I was even a bit uppity in my outlook toward her. I could have simply moved her out of the way to make check in more convenient for everyone else, and that would have been the logical thing to do according to the world. But we are called to greater.

I should have asked her name before she drifted off to sleep, tried to lift her spirits some, shone Christ’s light into her existence. This was the choice God wanted me to make. Instead I got caught up in convenience and selfishness, which cost me nothing physically, but caused me,  and her, to lose out spiritually.

Three choices, and I chose wrong. I don’t want to live like this. I want Christ to reign in me. I want to always surrender to His will and obey His voice in any given situation. This journey, this life, is not so much about a huge impact for Christ, as it is a shining His light in little ways everyday.

Interestingly enough, David’s choice led him to the place where God’s future temple would be built. Even in our poor choices, God brings blessing.

So what about you? What choice has God laid before you recently?

Loose Ends

We’re moving this Saturday. We bought a house and are moving out of this 100 year old house, a place which all too often has been drafty, dark and challenging in multiple ways. And so I’m tying up loose ends.

I moved in here with a temporary mentality. It wasn’t until yesterday that I finally crossed the street and met a particular neighbor. I gifted her with a couple of items. I’ve met all my neighbors this week. I know that sounds pathetic and I realize I’ve cloistered myself in the house, barracading myself in with wrong attitudes and prejudice against the questionable neighborhood. Doesn’t that sound godly and Christian-like?

Granted, God closed doors repeatedly for me in this place because of internal things He wanted me to deal with while here. He wanted to bring me freedom in areas of deep bondage; He only asked my obedience and to trust Him, let Him do the work He wanted to.

And so in this difficult place I wrote what He called me to:  a book on the barren women of the Bible and a book about the 37 different jobs I’ve had. Both books were extremely hard for me to write because I felt like a failure in both areas of my life.

I finished up the barren women book in January. This morning I typed in my 37th job. Both will need edited a few times, but the initial writing is complete.  And with the completion this morning, I feel gratitude and release. God is faithful, His steadfast love endures forever. Amen.

I can move forward, no matter what the future holds for me. My God goes before me and He is trustworthy.

What about you, do you have some loose ends that need tied up so you can move forward? What action is God calling you to?

As for me, I’m off to pack more boxes.

 

Eastern Wild’s Extreme Racing

A fictional piece written for my writer’s group. Enjoy the nonsensical.

The crowd of spectators grew restless as the days progressed with still no sign of any contestants crossing the finish line for the Pacific Northwest’s Extreme Race across the Eastern Wild and back.  People waves crashed sporadically along the metal stands, all hoping to appear on the NASA-sized digital screen across the raceway. The camera crew swung from swings attached above the covered rows of seats, panning the crowd and scanning the horizon for signs of returning contestants.

The morning of the race the ten competing teams gloriously poised at the start line, each struggling to control their animals—some literally. Team number four, for instance, had to reign in their rhino-raffetah, a stem-celled masterpiece of cross breeding and counter cloning of a rhinoceros, giraffe and cheetah. Likewise, team seven’s herd of reindeered brushchomp-scapods nearly upset team three’s scorpionic tail, which could have resulted in the whole race being canceled due to its targeted stinging capabilities. The brushchomp-scapods were whipped back into place and the blasting flare was sounded. The teams were off.

They entered the Eastern Wild where each would fight for their life through the brambled blackberry misery that only true Northwesterners can understand. The Eastern Wild had not been entered in over four decades. Team nine quickly took the lead, pedaling their beaver-toothed tracking-tor across the terrain. A member of team five fell out of their mechanical stork-legged wicker basket and was immediately swallowed up by the well-armored, quick-growing bramble. The spectators heard him scream from the distant stands.

The reindeered brushchomp-scapods were faring well but their bellies jammed repeatedly and eventually failed altogether. Team two’s metallic mammal had a magnetic malfunction and managed to tangle with team one’s octo-gator. Five teams remained. They all kept a good distance between them and managed to stay in the race for over eight hours. Alas, team four’s rhino-raffetah collapsed soon after, once again exposing the flaws of a cellious biological approach to the race. Team nine’s beaver-toothed tracking-tor could’ve won but for the ravine they saw too late.

Team six’s shield of enhanced chemiological mist failed on their cobraic-crowned serpentiar, leaving them all choked up in multiple ways. Team ten persevered through the Eastern Wild’s brambly nightmare. However, the scotch broom forest beyond proved too much for their wearied bite-o-metric scissor-a-saurus.

In the end it was team eight who emerged victorious from the Eastern Wild days later. The least favored of all, team eight’s simplistic and natural approach showed the urban crowd that the Eastern Wild could be tamed with merely a compass, a small herd of goats, and two men with a tarp to keep the rain off during the long, monotonous days of munching goats.