David was a Shepard, but he was also a warrior. The two are a paradox, life is like that many times. God uses us where we are, and who we are at a given moment. But nothing stays the same, and many times people are given multiple roles in life. David is an example of this.
When I find myself facing these realities in my life, I go to those in the bible who faced the same adversities; and what they did about it. The one I go to the most it seems, is David. In the books of first and second Samuel, we get to follow him in his life, and the enemies who tried to destroy him; and his calling. They were many, Saul being the most fierce. Later in life, his own sons sought to kill him, these kinds of things happen today. David was an example of what home life can really be like, and the bible doesn’t cover up the realities for us. I for one am glad they are not just good stories, for an afternoon of interesting entertainment, it shows me that the things I may be facing have been faced by someone else, and God knew about it, and the story I’m reading is helping me to see what I may need to do in my own situation. The bible is better than anyone’s opinion, anytime.
There were times David did some things that today would be viewed as politically incorrect, to say the least. The wars he fought on the side of the enemy at times, feigning being mentally ill, killing everyone in his path during the raids he was involved in, including women and children. He left a very bloody path behind him. Today I’m sure he would have been a candidate for the psychiatrists couch. But, even so, God had called him, and anointed him. Through all of these events, that calling was never revoked. God’s hand remained on him.
In the Psalms David shows us how to be real with God. He poured out his loss, his pain, his struggles, his sins. He didn’t cry out and sing from a script written by somebody else, it was his own script, his own broken soul. He didn’t care who heard him, who saw his humanity, his weaknesses. He was honest.
Over the years I’ve listened to untold numbers of preachers, teachers, psychologists, and psychiatrists discuss the topic of grief and loss, and what to do about it. Many of them have given very good advice, some as cold and technical as describing a dissected insect in a petri dish.
It’s hard for people to admit they do not have all the answers to why someone may suffer, why God may choose to not heal someone, why a burden isn’t lifted immediately. Many times, it would be better to say nothing, than to give advice about a situation that only your eyes see, but you don’t really know the details and reasons, as God does.
In the study of David, I get a look at the reality of the depths of sin, grief, and loss a person can be taken, no matter how much they love God. But also the victory that is won by David’s faith, his honesty, and restoration that comes from repentance. I’ve learned that when God chooses to not reveal the reasons to me, I can trust Him to work out the details. I just choose to continue to follow Him, and trust Him. One day, all questions will be taken care of.
The most important thing is to keep an open, repentant relationship with the Lord. David gives instruction on this in Psalm 51:
Psa 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
Psa 51:11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
Psa 51:12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
Psa 51:13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
This was the key to David’s relationship with God, an honest heart. Willing to admit his failures, and do the only thing he could do; ask for forgiveness, restoration, and strength to get up and keep going on.
If you are going through the valley of adversity today and facing obstables that seem unsurmountable, take David’s advice, open your heart to God, and tell him everything. He cares, and has the power to change your situation. The most important change will come in you, if you allow the Lord access to do it.