Now it happened, when David and his men came to Ziklag, on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the South and Ziklag, attacked Ziklag and burned it with fire, 2 and had taken captive the women and those who were there, from small to great; they did not kill anyone, but carried them away and went their way. 3 So David and his men came to the city, and there it was, burned with fire; and their wives, their sons, and their daughters had been taken captive. 4 Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep. 5 And David’s two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite, had been taken captive. 6 Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God. 1 Samuel 30:1-6 NKJV
The eagerly awaited new academic session had just begun, and my excited daughter had a little more than she could handle in her hands (or so it seemed). Adorned in her new school dress, she wriggled to carry her bag on the back. While the struggle continued and her frustration grew, I walked up to her and said, affirmatively, “Hey baby! I know you can do this. I believe in you.” With a face suddenly lit with hope and a smile, she queried “I can do it?” “Yes!” I replied. As if all energies and wisdoms were let loose, in one fell swoop the bag was on her back! My wife and I couldn’t contain the joy we felt.
Today’s text showed us a warrior fraught with despair and yet in a critical decision-making juncture. The great warrior had just been dropped from the Philistine army that would slog it out with Israel on the battlefield, only to find his family (and those of his soldiers) had been taken captive and land plundered. David, still reeling in the loss, was about to be stoned by a mob also grieving from the loss of dear ones.
David was not in an enviable situation – rejected by friends, his wives and children in captivity, and renounced by his people. No one wants to be here. Yet, for many young people, this looks like their common reality. No one seems to understand you. Sometimes it is not just about the people, what they say and their reactions towards you. It is that you simply do not know where or who you are. It is that difficult moment when it seems everything stands still, and your world stops revolving. In such moments, you dig everywhere – friends, family, the internet, and self – for answers but find none.
In a similar situation as you probably are, David left us with a dependable, time-tested approach to take. What did he do?
“…But David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.” 1Sam 30:6 KJV
Rather than amplify his griefs and drown himself in self-pity, David turned his face God-ward. He sought God. In the midst of the chaos and uncertainty, David leaned on the Rock of Ages – the Rock that does not shake nor fail. He knew his help could only come from YHWH, the maker of heaven and earth (Psalm 121:2). Obeying God, he pursued his enemies and recovered all he and his men had lost.
God waits for you to seek Him. He is not far away, even if it often feels like He is. He is nearer than the air you breathe, closer than the hair on your skin. Call on him and he will answer (Jeremiah 33:3). Seek Him through his word, in prayers and bible-guided meditations. Seek him! Call him! At the other end of the call is the reassuring voice of the One who dearly loves and cares about you. In your moments of helplessness, you will hear that strengthening voice saying “I am with you always.” (Matthew 28:20)
Like in the 2-year old’s story above, God’s voice infuses new strength and inspires great hope – much more than a father’s voice. Call Him today.
I will lift mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.
He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.