Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The Heartbreak of Saul

The last week or so I've been listening to the Old Testament book of I Samuel on my iPod Bible. I find the story of Saul to be heartbreaking.

This week I was particularly struck by Saul's bitter response to David's success.
The women sang "Saul has slain his thousands, but David his ten thousands."

The point of the song was that the common enemy had been defeated. Yet all Saul heard was the comparison. It burned him. The sour taste of coveting consumed him.

I'd like to think I know better. I'd like to think I can rejoice when God equips, blesses, elevates, or honors others.

But I took a moment to apply the story to my writing life.

Books are measured in numbers. Numbers printed, numbers sold. It wasn't a big reach to hear the voice of bystanders, "Sharon has sold her thousands, but Truly Favored Author has sold her ten thousands (or hundred thousands)."

Will my response be, "Hooray! We are all serving God's kingdom together, all fighting a common enemy. How wonderful to celebrate the God-given success of others." ?

Or will my sinful nature, like Saul's, twist and writhe and whisper, "I want a bigger part."

The story of poor, tormented Saul sent me scurrying to God in earnest prayer.

"Lord, change my heart to be more like Jesus. Fill me with gratitude for the small tasks you've granted me. Teach me to rejoice for the big accomplishments of others. Keep my eyes firmly focused on Your beauty, and keep me too busy worshiping You to have time to compare my journey to anyone else's."

Sharon Hinck

1 comment:

Cheryl Klarich said...

I just read this Sharon and it brought tears to my eyes. I second your prayer!! God bless you.