Transformation Garden - May 15, 2010

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"When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, ‘Blessed be the Lord, Who has pleaded the cause of my reproach at the hand of Nabal and kept his servant from evil….and David sent and communed with Abigail, to take her to him as his wife. And when the servants of David had come to Abigail at Carmel, they said to her, ‘David sent us to you to take you to him to be his wife.' And she arose and bowed herself to the earth and said, ‘Behold, let your handmaid be a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord.' And Abigail hastened and arose and rode on a donkey, with five of her maids who followed her, and she went after the messengers of David and became his wife."
I Samuel 25: 39-42, Amplified Bible

EXPLORATION 

"A Wise Woman With a Wounded Heart"  Part I 

"Help me O God
I don't know how
to give voice to this pain,
the brooding ache in my heart."
Barbara Hughes

Like Nabal did to Abigail, is there someone in my life who has degraded me by their behavior?

Has my wounded heart ever made it difficult for me to make wise decisions regarding those I choose to embrace in my life?

A Cry From My Heart 

"Lord- why?  What have I done that You can let this happen to me? I thought You cared, I thought You were good; why have You turned against me? No, don't give me textbook answers about the why and how of suffering! Just - please - give me some sense of being held while the questions are wept and swept to a stillness within."
Kate Compston
(Adapted)

INSPIRATION 

"Beneath the surface of our daily life, in the personal history of many of us, there runs a continuous controversy between an ego that affirms and an ego that denies."
Beatrice Webb

Whether Abigail's marriage to Nabal was arranged because of financial considerations or for some other reason than love, there can be no doubt after reading I Samuel 25 that the qualities of gentleness and respect were sadly lacking in this marital relationship.

Unrefined and drunken, one can only imagine what life was like in this wealthy household. Like so many marriages today, it didn't matter how much money the Nabals had, it wasn't enough to ease the pain or undo the abuse.  And while Abigail's wisdom and discretion shine through every part of her life, we would be doing a disservice to her story if we didn't recognize the fact that although she was a wise woman, Abigail had a wounded heart.

We find this emotional pain reflected in our texts today. Left widowed by the unexpected death of her husband, Abigail immediately had some visitors, sent by the handsome and smooth-speaking David.

I doubt there could be two men as different an Nabal - the crude, mean-spirited, cad, and David -- the handsome, poetry composing, musical muse who with his mere presence had women pouring into the street shouting his praises.

With the tears barely wiped from her eyes, just think how Abigail must have felt when the Bible tells us in I Samuel 25: 39 that David "communed" with her. However, the Hebrew meaning of this word really reflects what is said in I Samuel 25: 40, that it was messengers from David who came to Abigail with a proposal of marriage. And before you know it, Abigail was agreeing to not only marry David but to wash the feet of his servants. 

Now I believe in doing special things for my husband, please don't get me wrong, but a proposal by proxy, while it may have withstood the customs of the time, doesn't rank high on my love-meter, especially when you stop to consider all Abigail had done for David and the great kindness she had shown him.

What's even more disturbing is that in I Samuel 25: 43 we are told that  while David was in negotiations to marry Abigail, he, "Also took Ahinoam of Jezreel, and they both became his wives." I wonder if Abigail even knew about "the other wife" when she agreed to marry David. What a lousy way for David to show love and appreciation to Abigail. I can just hear him now, "Hi darling. I have a little wedding present for you. Come meet my other new wife."

Don't say to me that it was a custom at that time to have more than one wife.  Noah didn't.  Isaac didn't. And God's sons who tried to stretch the boundaries of matrimony erected by our heavenly Father in the Garden of Eden found themselves in hot water that burned them every time. If you think more than one wife works so well, need I remind you of the debacle that Abraham created and we are still suffering the effects of his mistake in history down to this very day!

The fact is, that while Abigail showed divine wisdom in taking care of the needs of others around her, this wise woman suffered from a hurting heart.  And when our hearts ache, all too often, we can quickly latch onto something or someone we think comes with a healing salve.

The appearance of the kindly David most likely seemed like a sweet reprieve in comparison to the crude Nabal. And yet, we are going to find out tomorrow that sadly, Abigail's life with David was certainly not a bed of roses. I wonder if this wise woman had only waited until her wounded heart had time to heal, if she would not have averted some of the future pain that surrounded her.

It's a good lesson for you and me to remember. When we have been in situations where we have suffered a great deal, a kind smile, soothing words and a tender touch have a way of blinding us to the reality of our situation. Until the hurting heart is healed and our self-worth is restored, it is difficult for us to clearly see what it is God intends for our lives.  It's just another lesson from the life of Abigail. With all her wisdom - she still couldn't control the force of a heart that led her down a painful path. Let her life serve as a warning to you and me today.

"Thou, O Lord God, art my need - Thy courage, Thy patience, Thy fortitude."
Amy Carmichael
(1868-1951)

AFFIRMATION 

"O God of Love,
Look kindly upon the flame that is in my soul.
Though it glows like a tiny sapphire,
Barely visible in the dark,
It contains the life of light.
It is precious to me,
For in this infant flame I know
You dwell and as You choose to dwell in me,
So also must I be precious in Your sight.
In Your patience, Lord, never allow this flame,
however small, to be extinguished.
Let me nurture it in stillness,
Giving it ample room to breathe;
And grant me patience as I watch and feel it grow,
Slowly, imperceptibly,
Into the Light of Life."
Wendy Lyons

Your friend,
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author 
When A Woman Meets Jesus 
Dorothy@Transformationgarden.com

P.S.  My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian.  You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal for $8.00. Or by calling Transformation Garden at 1-888-397-4348.

For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.

 
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