Great advice from King David . . . and my mother, day 18
Today’s reading is drawn from Psalm 69:1-6.
It was going to be the biggest business deal of my life. My partner and I had orchestrated the purchase of a major corporation. We had done our due diligence, we had met with the executives of the for-sale company, we had prepared a business plan, we had raised all the money we would need to make an offer . . . and several counter-offers. We also had plenty of top-notch, meter-running lawyers and hard-charging brokers on point.
The rush of this deal was like nothing I had ever experienced before. I thought about our transaction all the time. I can remember waking up in the morning, lying quietly for a split second, then having “the deal” scream into my mind like a siren. I strategized about it in the shower and talked about it over oatmeal. My wife was very patient. I thought about the deal while driving to the office, eating lunch, sitting in church, flying on airplanes, jogging . . . you get the idea. Finally, on one mid-summer Tuesday afternoon, we tendered our opening offer.
The next morning, only a few hours after the company’s board had met to “accept our proposal,” I got a call from a broker. Somehow a very clever buyer — with a no-shop deal — had come to the table at the last moment. With no opportunity to let us counter-offer, the board accepted the other proposal. Our whole Wall Street transaction had slipped through our fingers. I was sick, broken, angry, embarrassed and confused. How could this have happened?
The first two words of today’s psalm say it all: “Save me.” King David must have just lost the deal of a lifetime. ”the floods engulf me . . . my throat is parched” (vv. 1 – 3). That’s okay, David, I know just how you felt.
When I was a kid, my mother used to lean in on me when I was facing an unusually horrible youngster-type crisis. “Robert,” she’d warn, “this is a test. How well you do will be an example for good or not-so-good.” Her wise words came crashing back on my consciousness that July morning. It’s not what happens to me that matters, I recalled from something I had read, It’s what happens when something happens to me that really counts.
Did you read verse 6? “May those who hope in you not be disgraced because of me.” The lesson is unmistakable. My friends are watching me when the deal goes bad, when my faith is shattered, when things don’t turn out as I had planned. It’s my chance to show them how my love for God and His love for me is absolutely enough. My reaction to failure delivers an opportunity — a test — to prove how quick He is to meet my needs. It’s my chance to make Him look good.
Thanks for the reminder, David. Thanks, Mom.