“But”. This is my most favorite word in the Bible. Really. Crazy, I know, but this word does amazing things.
You see, there can be so much “junk” found before this word, but (see what I did there?) when you insert this word, everything changes.
In fact, my two favorite consecutive words are “but God”. Man, those two words together are awesome.
I encountered a “but” in the Bible this weekend, that I keep meditating on, so I wanted to share it with you.
It’s about David, so let me get you up-to-speed with where I am here: (from the book of First Samuel)
-David has been anointed to be the next king of Israel.
-Saul is still the current king.
-Because of Saul’s extreme jealousy of David, Saul has been seeking to kill David for some time now.
-David, being tired of being on the run from Saul, decides for himself to seek refuge from Saul by living amongst the Philistines (an enemy of the Israelites).
-David has been living among the Philistines for almost a year now, and has gained the trust of King Achish.
-The Philistines and the Israelites are lining up for a huge battle.
-David and his men line up too, and are poised to fight against their people, the Israelites.
-The Philistine commanders make a strong case to King Achish against David and his men fighting in this battle.
-As a result, David and his men are sent back by King Achish, and are not permitted to fight.
-Upon returning to their home base of Ziklag three days later, they see that Ziklag had been burnt to the ground and their wives and children have been taken captive by the Amalekites.
-David and his men wept until there was literally no strength left in them to weep anymore.
-The men with David are contemplating stoning David because they were distraught upon losing their sons and daughters.
Take a moment to put yourself in David’s sandals.
He’s lost EVERYTHING.
He’s not a part of Israel.
He’s been rejected by the Philistine leaders.
His family is gone.
His possessions are ashes in front of him, which are probably still smoldering.
And now? His friends, his companions, want to stone him.
Think, really think, have you ever been in a place such as this?
We all have our breaking point. I know that I’ve hit my rock-bottom. However, my rock-bottom pales in comparison to this.
Take a look with me at the very next verse following the description of the scene that we just stopped to think about…
“But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.” 1 Samuel 30:6
But David strengthened
But David strengthened himself
But David strengthened himself in
But David strengthened himself in the
But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.
David was exactly where he needed to be at this point.
For, when we are in a place where all we have is to strengthen ourselves in the Lord, that’s the ONLY place we need to be at that point.
So, as I begin a new week, filled with new trials, new hardships, new “life” that comes with living on this earth, I’m going to picture the smoldering city that was before David, and I’m going to strengthen myself in the Lord my God.
How about you? Where will you find your strength?
Oh, Holy, Mighty Father. All that is good comes from You. You are my strong tower, my refuge, my strength. You are worthy of all praise, and all I have to offer You are filthy rags. Lord, please forgive me when I try to find other sources of strength, other places of refuge. For, Lord, as the deer pants for the water, so my soul longs after You. You, O Lord, are my heart’s desire, and I long to worship You. Lord, You have inscribed me on the palms of Your hand. Help me, Father, to strengthen myself with You alone. For when I do, I will see things the way that You see them, and then my big, huge problems will become microscopic in light of You. Amen.