The Caterpillar Years

2 Samuel 3:2a (the message)
During the Hebron years, sons were born to David…

After Saul died in battle, God instructed David to move to the city of Hebron in Judah. The people made David their king and the Bible says he ruled Judah for 7 1/2 years.

Interesting, right? Maybe not yet…but hold on. Smile…

Remember the shepherd boy called in from the fields by Samuel? The runt-of-the-liter son anointed the next king of Israel in front of his brothers and father? The young man who defeated Goliath, served king Saul with his musical abilities, married the king’s daughter and befriended his son. David, who fought for and ran from the king he knew he would replace.

Cave-dwelling David.
Saul-sparing David.
God-honoring David.
Rogue-leading David.
Trusting-God David.

Now Saul is dead and I imagine David anticipates stepping into his destiny as king. But instead of a move to Jerusalem to rule over all of Israel, God says Hebron. He moves David into his next season:

The Hebron Years. And in the Hebron years six sons were born to David.

My heart is touched this morning…see, in this next leg of David’s journey…during the Hebron years…God blessed David with the gift of children. In a time that was closer but not quite there…a time when David might have grown weary or discouraged with God’s timing…the Lord chose to bless him with sons.

I wonder, as I sit at this worn kitchen table with Leighton close by and going through my stuff, how I’ll come to remember this season of my life?

The messy house years
The no make-up years
The Hamburger Helper years
The carpool and field-trip years
The poop and pee pee years
The worn-slam-out years
The asking forgiveness years

As I sat on my deck earlier, having just read this verse, I took a moment to consider my gifts in these my messy house and no make-up years:

How Leighton says, “Unnn” and hands me her little plate when she’s finished…

The big, brown eyes that betray my Leah’s tender heart…

The sparkle and wonder in her voice with every story Rivers tells…

The way Leighton runs full steam ahead to Shannon when he gets home from work, smiling and laughing and calling “Dahhhh!!!”

The way Rivers and Leah help with Leighton and play with her, never resenting her as an intruder on their own attention and time…

The budding “did-you-know-this-random-fact” competition between Rivers and Shannon

Leah’s determination to win at checkers…

Taking turns praying for the family on the way to school…

I certainly understand that when we run our race, most often we are keeping our eyes on the goal…the destination. A good thing. But sometimes we lose sight that God is creating beauty inside the seasons and years that can seem mundane or “in-between.” Maybe part of why David needed the Hebron years was to make space and room, to breathe, and experience the blessings of God.

I kind of think God means for us to have it all. Not all of the stuff or fame or even all of our own way. But life. All of life there is to experience and enjoy. And that comes in different seasons and years that we might miss if we are straining too hard toward Jerusalem.

See, God did in fact move David to Jerusalem where he reigned for many years. But perhaps Jerusalem would not have been all that God intended had David not lived the Hebron years first.

Every season of our lives has meaning…precious beauty…opportunities to grow and discover and mature. Joy and life-to-the-full disguised in seemingly forgettable trips to Dairy Queen, neighborhood walks, movie nights with popcorn, library trips with mom or mulching the garden with daddy.

This is life in all its everyday, nearly-missed-it, spilling over splendor.

The Caterpillar Years…slow moving yet flight bound.


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