Monday March 7, 2011
We live in some very tough times in our economy. It seems that frequently I hear of a friend of mine or someone else having to move out of their house or sell their belongings. People who have saved all their lives for their possessions and their retirement are having to reorder their lives because of a lost job that can’t support their lifestyle or keep up their possessions. We are living in some very tough times and can easily become bitter or resentful toward our circumstances.
In reading the scriptures this morning I came across a similar situation with two distinctly different responses to their tough times. It is the story of David and his men who went off to battle to fight with the Philistines against the Israelite nation, his own people. The Philistine king got wet feet and wondered if David could be trusted to keep his focus on the enemy or would he turn and start fighting against the Philistines. He told David to go back home so David turned back. When they got back to their town of Ziklag, their children, their wives, and their possessions had been taken by the Egyptians and they had nothing, not even their families. Talk about tough times.
In I Samuel 30: 6 we read their responses, “David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the lord his God.” Two responses. The first response was from the men when tough times occurred. The men wanted to stone David. He wasn’t the reason for their losing stuff, but they were lashing out at the closest person that came into their line of fire. David on the other hand found strength in the lord his God. Probably the easiest and most natural response when tough times come is to lash out at the people closest to us. Our spouse. Our children, our pets. Our friends.
The healthy response is to seek the One who has the power to change our perspectives and our circumstances and the problems we are dealing with. As you read on you see that not only did God give them the power to get their families back with all their stuff, but there was an abundance of other stuff they got back that David used to connect with others.
Tough journeys provide the opportunity for us to choose healthy perspectives if we only turn to the source of relational transformation.