Studying Psalms, I'm noticing a pattern. David's most often repeated phrase is "God's unfailing love," and I have begun writing down instances where that phrase appears. I am up to Chapter 63, and he has already repeated it over 30 times. David's trust in God's unfailing love was another secret to his success.
Here is a quick glance of some of the things David believed about that love, as recorded in Psalms. He counted on God's unfailing love to rescue and save him (6:4) and thought it would manifest in wonderful ways (17:7). David expected God's unfailing love to keep him from stumbling (21:7) and to lead him (25:40). He believed that love reached to the skies (36:5) and that it surrounded him (32:10). He trusted in it (52:8), counted on it as the source of God's mercy (51:1), and he rejoiced in it daily (59:16). He said the unfailing love of God is better than life (63:3).
David had numerous wives. Michal was the daughter of a king, Abigail was renowned for her wisdom, and Bathsheba was so beautiful she nearly toppled the kingdom. At no time did David ever thank God for the unfailing love of his spouse (or spouses, for that matter). He had numerous children and a band of mighty men that fought for him and with him. But nowhere does he praise God for their faithfulness.
Here is what we know from history about David's life. Both he and his human relationships were not always stable. When it came time to anoint him as king, his dad did not see him as a candidate (1 Samuel 16:10). Michal despised him (2 Samuel 6:16), his mighty men once turned on him and were ready to stone him (1 Samuel 30:6), his son tried to kill him (2 Samuel 16:11), and he failed to the point where he committed murder to cover his adultery (2 Samuel 11). Just one of those things would be enough to send the average person to therapy, but David remained steadfast in the belief that God's unfailing love would see him through. That's because David knew something we need to learn: "Unfailing love, O Lord, is yours alone (62:12)."
David was wise enough to know that he could not count on the love of anyone but God. Imagine the grief that could save us if that would sink in! He did not even rely on his love for God, but remained convinced of the unfailing nature of God's love for him.
So here is our object lesson from this. Quit being so surprised and disappointed in people (yourself included) when you or others fail. We are not the ones designed to have unfailing love. Proverbs 19:22 states that every person desires unfailing love. Well, now you know the only source of it. Receive it, and let everyone else off the hook.
• Cris Corzine-McCloskey is a licensed clinical social worker and director of Caring Counseling Ministries, 1410 W. Chestnut St. in Marion; a nonprofit that provides counseling from a Biblical perspective. Call (618) 997-2129.