The LORD will work out his plans for my life—for your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever. Don’t abandon me, for you made me. - Psalm 138:8
In 1463, the authorities of the cathedral of Florence, Italy, purchased a huge, sixteen-foot-tall piece of white marble. They commissioned a sculptor from Sienna to carve a figure that would be displayed prominently. The marble was so faulty, though, that the sculptor abandoned the task. Another Florentine artist was commissioned, but he, too, found the task impossible and gave up. The marble was placed in a warehouse, where it remained for almost forty years before a twenty-six-year-old prodigy was asked if he could make the abandoned and mutilated marble into anything significant. He said he could. Four years later, the masterpiece statue “David” was unveiled. Michelangelo had transformed the “worthless” marble into something majestic.
The original David, the king of Israel after whom the statue was named, once wrote, “The Lord will work out his plans for my life—for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever. Don’t abandon me, for you made me” (Ps. 138:8). In the same way that Michelangelo had worked on a faulty piece of marble until he completed the task others had abandoned, so the Lord looked at the flawed David and knew what he wanted to make of him.
David knew it, too, so he could say, “The Lord will work out his plans for my life.” The assurance that the Lord had a plan and that he was capable of bringing it to fulfillment was the bedrock of David’s life. It came from a solid conviction expressed in the words “for you made me.” David reasoned that his Creator had a purpose in creating him—the divine artist had a vision of what he could be—and, accordingly, was not about to give up on him. This was not just wishful thinking, because the Lord had shown his “faithful love” that “endures forever.”
This did not mean that David’s life was a bed of roses. On the contrary, David testified that he was“surrounded by troubles.” But his confidence in the Lord’s “unfailing love and faithfulness” (138:2) was such that he continued to count on the Lord finishing what he had started.
In the dark days of life, it is not unusual to feel abandoned, as though one were left in life’s warehouse unheeded, unfulfilled, and unfinished. At times like this, it is appropriate to cry out like David, “Don’t abandon me,” but we must do so with the assurance that David articulated based on his conviction: “Your promises are backed by all the honor of your name” (138:2).
As the statue of David silently testifies to Michelangelo’s skill, so the confident, consistent believer speaks loudly of the Master’s faithfulness.
For Further Study: Psalm 138
Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Men, Copyright ©2000 by Stuart Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.
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