There are times in life when it seems that problems seek us out like the unannounced arrival of carbone monoxide gas, silently and deadly! No matter where we turn, there is a problem to confront! Be it relationally, vocationally, financially, or physically, problems confront us relentlessly!Sometimes problems confront us in the form of consequences of past ill-advised actions that were not wise on our part. At other times, problems confront us that take us totally by surprise and we are not at all prepared for them, that report from the doctor that did not turn out as we hoped, that friend or spouse that betrayed us, or even other interpersonal conflicts that arrived at our doorstep so very unexpectedly.
What do we do in these situations? The common thread we all experience is the loss of control. We want to be in control of each and every situation that is within our grasp. Most of these situations are very upsetting because we think they are not only an intrusion but also, many times, very unfair.
We have an example to imitate as we look at the Old Testament story of King Saul as he chases David around the Israeli hillside. David did not sign up to be Saul’s proverbial “rabbit” to be hunted! In 1 Samuel chapters 13-24, we read as the narrative unfolds, of Saul who wants to murder David because David has gained more favour in the eyes of the people than he himself ever did! Remember the famous saying as the women of Israel danced singing, “Saul has struck down his thousands and David his tens of thousands…” (1 Samuel 18:7 ESV) Wow! That did not sit well with Saul, in fact it was enough to push the current king over the edge with rage against the future king!
What I love about the story is David’s reaction! Oh, how I wish I could learn to respond like him every time a problem has come across my life. The book of the Psalms is full of references to this time in this young man’s life for us all to witness. It gives us a glimpse into his soul and how he clung to his relationship in times of difficulty. I often wonder, what would be written of me in times like these?
Remember, the issues that David dealt with were entirely NOT of his doing! Don’t you and I wish that every time we are confronted with such situations that we had responded like this, “O Lord my God in you do I take refuge, save me from all my pursuers and deliver me…” (Psalm 7:1). “My shield is with God, who saves the upright in heart.” (Psalm 7:10). He was totally dependent on God to be his rock and his strength when he could not defend himself.
What better way is there for those who know the Lord as our Saviour, to also learn to know Him as our protector and our defence! As we grow in our faith to become dependent on the Lord, we also grow to trust Him in times like these. We remain solid in His care and in His unfailing grace.
Friend, whatever you are facing today, trust Him! Rest in His care and unfailing love. Yes, life does hurt at times but we can rely on Him every step of the way.
For His Glory,
Pastor Bill Finch