For those suffocating in stress

Life has a way of exposing our limits. It probes our frustrations and pokes at our fears. Like a shark sensing blood is drawn to more aggression, so does stress. As they say, “when it rains, it pours”. David understands. On a day that his integrity is called into question and he is sent home in shame, he finds worse. He and the men of his army discover that their wives and children are kidnapped and their homes are burning. That’s a bad day.

1 Samuel 13:6
“And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.”

As David sits in the shadow of rejection, his most loyal men are posting death threats and his loved ones are victims of human trafficking. That is enough for anyone to cash it all in. David is “greatly distressed”. The pressure of anxiety is suffocating. As he sits alone with no human help in sight, his faith kicks in. His mind revisits the mountain tops of God’s power in his past. He thinks back to…

  • …ripping apart a lion with his hands.
  • …slaughtering a bear with no weapon.
  •  …conquering Goliath with a stone.

In God’s universe, David’s horrendous storm is simply a passing cloud. The same God empowering David to win in the past is positioned to do it all again. God’s power is not drained and His concern is not calloused. God never changes. No matter how dark the clouds or how big the enemy, He is almighty.
In just moments of meditation David is dancing through the goodness of God to him. It didn’t take long for his dejection to dissipate. The victories of the past becomes our fuel for the future. “David encouraged himself in the Lord”

David lived his life in the realms of God’s ability. He distanced himself from the safety of a faithless existence. To this day in focus he has chosen to live each moment where only God could get credit. He built a library of faith stories that became his encouragement. When anxiety kicked in, David reached for a volume. What follows is David and his men rescuing their families and eliminating their enemies.

In the end, it’s not just talking ourselves up, it’s uplifting the King. David didn’t just encourage himself with himself– he encouraged himself in “his God”!

We need to build our own library of “God-stories” that will scatter our doubts and worries. The protective shade that we have today comes from the trees planted decades ago. God is good. God is big. God is the same today as He “is” in David’s day.

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