Step into the Garden
One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him.
When David says, “One thing I ask of the Lord,” what is it, exactly, that one expects him to ask? I should think he would ask God for something relating to his present circumstances; something like, “deliver me from this sickness,” or “help me battle the Philistines,” or “show me how to be a decent king,” et. al. But it was none of these things. His request had nothing to do with the here and now. All David wanted, it seems, was when this was all over, let him spend the rest of eternity in the presence of God.
Then, a curious thing happens . . .
He says that “in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling. He will hide me in the shelter of his presence and set me high upon a rock.” Is King David saying here that it doesn’t really matter what happens to me in this life, the Lord has already taken care of it? He is in absolute control of my threescore and ten. He has and will continue to “set me high on a rock.”
Maybe that’s what is going on for all of us.
Job observed, (and he should know), that “a man is born unto trouble as the sparks fly upward.” Life on this earth seems to engage trouble and conflict and emotional upheaval every day we live on it.
Is David saying, “So what?” God is not unaware of this. He is not asleep, nor is he on a fishing trip somewhere in the mountain streams of heaven. We need not interpret our struggles in life, no matter how severe, as God not caring, or deduce from our pain that God ignores it. From his perspective, we’re ok. WE’RE OK! We can relax with that. God is in control and we will endure.
He is preparing us for the rest of eternity – when he will take us fishing with him. Eternity with God. Perhaps it is there that life really begins. Perhaps it is there that life takes on meaning that we can’t now imagine.