The Diva and the Deity

By Phares Gilchrist

There’s an interesting phenomenon in ministry in regard to the pastor’s wife. While it’s true she has expectations placed on her that have more to do with the person’s view of who she should be than the reality of who she actually is, she is also given great benefit of the doubt. A lot of goodwill is thrown her way. People give her a dollop of deference. They assume the best.

As wonderful as this all is, it can be daunting. Living up to the myriads of projections others are placing on someone they don’t know well could be a crazy maker. Which comes to my great declaration.

I am a bit of a diva.

 Yep. And an introverted one at that. I want my space and my opinions and my space and my opinions. If my margins are thin, I’m irritable. Catch me on a day when they’ve all conspired against me, and it’s not a good look. And I get to define the context of the conspiracy. Still want me for a dance partner?

A person like me needs to be under a final authority. And so do you. The good news is mine is extraordinarily loving and patient, while also being omniscient. In other words, He is intimately acquainted with my space and opinions. And He works with both my gifting and my limitations. He’s not impressed with my great insight and discernment, but He passes those handy dandies out like candies when we are aligned with his purposes.

David, for all of his humility and authenticity, was not without an inner diva. It allowed him to consider and take Bathsheba and have her husband conveniently placed in harm’s way. He knew what it was like for people to assume the best and, in his case, project super star status on the hero rather than the servant. And yet as we see in Psalm 139, he knew who knew him. 

1  O Lord, You have searched me and known me.

2  You know when I sit down and when I rise up;

    You understand my thought from afar.

3  You scrutinize my path and my lying down,

    And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.

4  Even before there is a word on my tongue,

    Behold, O Lord, You know it all.

The rest of the psalm goes into detail on the wonder of being made and known by God. David is humbled and in awe of the thought. It is a reminder, yet once again, that on this side of heaven my ability to know and love God and my desire to appease my inner diva will always be in tension. He has graciously allowed this to be the case, knowing a basic sin nature resides in me and fights for control even with the knowledge of his generous outstretched hand. 

David ends his acknowledgement of God’s ultimate understanding of his creation with one of my favorite passages. An invitation for God to have full access to David’s being. 

23   Search me, O God, and know my heart;

Try me and know my anxious thoughts;

24    And see if there be any hurtful way in me,

And lead me in the everlasting way.

This is ultimate trust. It reflects a deep understanding of need. The “diva” has relinquished control. David’s soul seeks rest from the anxiousness of his own making. A perfect picture of how to do it. 

So thankful for David and his Psalms.