What happened to that little boy inside that grew up during a time when people knew the difference between right and wrong, guilt and integrity, shame and honor? It was a time when heroes were the type of emulation your parents would have been proud to see you imitate. It was a time, an Era, when Bible stories came alive when placed on the flannel graph board, or told to us by dedicated Sunday School teachers, or by God fearing pastors, deacons, elders, or your next door neighbor.
Inside, that little boy hung on every word during the telling of that great big boat built by a faithful man named Noah, a man with such great faith he spent 120 years building the Ark for his Creator. We wondered, in our own little limited box of understanding, what it might have felt like to have the great strength of a Samson, the incredible wisdom and wealth of a Solomon, or to have the impossible persistence and perseverance of a man named Paul.
That little boy would zoom through the streets of his little hometown on his bike, peddling as fast as he could, the houses a blur as they passed by his vision, and the fresh clean air of spring would sting his face and thrill his senses of smell and touch. As he zipped by each street, sometimes a friend or two would join his travels, sailing faster and faster around each block as if traveling to faraway imaginary places in outer space, just like Buck Rogers, Captain Midnight, or Captain Kirk, enjoying each moment of life with no thought of it ever ending.
That little boy, at the time, had no real understanding of what life had to offer him in the future, of the importance of his decisions he would have to make, and how to live with the circumstances that would trail each good or bad choice. He had no understanding of adult language with words like divorce, adultery, or immorality, but as he got older the story of King David made a lot more sense to him then when he was younger.
That little boy eventually learned that some things these perceived heroes did were not to be imitated or incorporated into life’s program. Our gracious and compassionate God was and still is very forgiving when repentance is requested and sincere, but we still must live through the consequences of our actions, even though, at times, the heartache and pain may become unbearable and overwhelming. The story of King David was a powerful message as to how one so faithful and trustworthy could be caught off guard, fall, fail, suffer, and yet by repentance rise up to the position of a dedicated servant once again.
That little boy, now grown, and aged, now lives with the circumstances of his past decisions, good or bad, but with hope and knowledge that his Creator can and will still love and use him for something worthwhile, even at this stage of life. David stood before a nine foot giant, Moses stood before a Pharaoh, and Daniel stood in the midst of lions, while Paul stood before Kings and Emperors, and none of them backed down. Were they perfect? No. They believed in their God, and in His grace and forgiveness, and compassion, and they… prevailed!