Over the past few weeks I have seen Psalm 91 referenced often. It begins by saying, ‘Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”’ These words are truly powerful! They are declarations of God’s unwavering goodness and faithfulness. These words have become a battle cry for many holding fast to what is steady and true in the midst of chaos and uncertainty. I have heard countless stories of hope filled believers who have meditated on these words daily to strengthen their faith and to steady their hearts.
While the stories I have heard and seen are nothing short of inspiring, I found that it was the story behind the story that really moved my heart and stirred up my faith. I am talking about the story behind Psalm 91. The personal story of the one who wrote these very words himself. The story of David. To summarize the life of David in one blog post would be almost impossible, for he was a man with many stories to tell. He was a man who lived the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. He writes of days when he was on top of the world and he wrote of days when he was being crushed by the weight of it. But in every season,David demonstrated himself be a man of great passion. He was passionate for life, passionate for love, but above all He was passionate for the Lord.
David’s story (1 & 2 Samual) is one of great triumphs and great failures, of heroic victories and crushing defeats, of great battles of faith and devastating fights against fear. But through it all, 1 Samual 13:14 says, "David was a man who was after God’s own heart". Chosen at a young age to one day to be King of Israel, David served the Lord with obedience, faithfulness and with the greatest of zeal. Reading through all of David’s life you will see he was many honorable thing., But equally he suffered the same pits fall of humanity that are common to all of us. Scriptures say David was shepherd, a faithful servant, a brave giant slayer, a skilled musician, an adulterer, a mighty leader, a murderer, and a chosen king. Amidst it all, one thing stayed consistent in the life of David, whether he was high on a mountain top or low in a valley, David called upon the Lord. Psalms is a beautiful illustration of David's raw and fragile heart laid out before the Father in every season of life. Before the Lord, David rejoiced, David wept, David grieved, David feared, David repented, David worshiped…David danced.
David danced. A quick side bar here...I love to dance, I mean I LOVE to dance. If any of you have been around me long enough you know that sooner or later this girl is gonna dance. Dancing just does something to you…it brings about a joy, a freedom, a creativity, a release. Studies have shown that dancing releases joy filled endorphins that actually improve your mood and lower stress and anxiety. Dancing you see is not just an act, but rather an emotional, physical and mental experience. This is why at every good party there will be dancing. Because when something is really worth celebrating, it is worth doing it with your whole being.
Now, back to David. 2 Samual 6:14 says, “Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the LORD with all of his might.” The scripture goes on to read that David’s own wife Michal, seeing him in the streets dancing and leaping was embarrassed by his behavior and even despised him. Here we notice two important things…one, David’s dance routine must have been one all out, arms flailing, feet shuffling, head jerking, body convulsing number. Secondly, and most importantly, David simply didn’t care! He didn't care what he looked like or what others would think Why would the King of Israel risk making such a fool of himself before his very own people?. Simple…because he was dancing only for an audience of one, and for the glory of God, and to David He was worth it.
“Let them praise His name with dancing and make music to Him with timbrel and harp. For the LORD takes delight in His people; He crowns the humble with victory.” -Psalm 149:3-4
You see this was David’s very heart. To give glory, honor and credit to whom it was and is due. For throughout every high and every low of David’s life, God remained faithful. God was true to His promises, full of grace and mercy, and abundant in love even on David’s darkest of days. And that to David was worth celebrating!
I found myself alone in my kitchen last Sunday, (a rarity these days) while the family worked outside. It had been one of those weeks…trying to find a new rhythm and somewhat routine, acclimating to the whole homeschool thing again, getting used to cooking three meals a day, keeping the house clean, trying not to pull my hair out at times, enduring five sunless days in a row, and mourning the loss my personal space. Yep, it was that kind of week! So there I stood in my kitchen, planning how much I could get done around the house before my tribe shuffled back in the door when I was abruptly stopped in my strategizing tracks. I was reminded of David and his reckless, intentional, and passionate desire to celebrate His creator and His God in every situation.
So I made one simple choice. I opened the windows, cranked up the music and I danced, before God, abandoned with all of my heart, just like David did. And when it was over I realized dancing had not changed my situation, my challenges or struggles, or even the state I found myself in, but it did change me! For in the moments of dancing I was reminded, God has been faithful before and will continue to always be faithful. Nothing, I mean nothing will ever change that! So, today I encourage and challenge each one of you, to crank up that music, open the windows and dance with all you’ve got…to experience and feel a joy, a freedom, a creativity and a release and to remind yourself that God was, is, and always will be victorious in every situation. And that my friends, is worth celebrating!
"The most valuable thing the Psalms do for me is to express the same delight
in God which made David dance." -C.S. Lewis