“‘Now get up! Go out and encourage your soldiers, for I swear by the Lord that if you don’t go out, not a man will remain with you tonight. This will be worse for you than all the trouble that has come to you from your youth until now!’ So the king got up and sat in the gate, and all the people were told: ‘Look, the king is sitting in the gate.’ Then they all came into the king’s presence” (2 Samuel 19:7-8, HCSB).
Sometimes we let our own personal problems and feelings overshadow what God is doing all around us. Such is the case with King David upon hearing of the death of his son and heir apparent, Absalom.
David’s army of Judah had just defeated an army of the other tribes of Israel in a civil war that Absalom led against David. David’s army prevailed and Absalom was killed in the fighting. When David heard the news of the victory and of Absalom’s death, he immediately went into mourning for his son: “So the victory that day was turned into mourning for all the people, for the people heard that day, ‘The king is grieving for his son.’” (vs. 2).
David let his own grief overcome not just his kingly responsibilities but even his gratitude to God for saving the nation.
Joab, King David’s friend and the commander of the army, rebuked David telling him that because he has covered his face with grief, he has covered with shame the faces of his loyal servants. David listened to Joab and made peace with his men and got back to work as King: “Then the king arose and took his seat in the gate. And the people were all told, ‘Behold, the king is sitting in the gate.’ And all the people came before the king” (vs. 8).
Don’t let your difficulties dim your view of God’s plans and purposes. What seems like trouble to you may actually be God’s loving care for you to protect you from sin or worse trouble or to prepare you for future blessings.
Today’s troubles may be the origin of tomorrow’s opportunities!
Think of it this way: When God is in control of your life, the problem you are having right now may hold the solution for future challenges in your life.
So, would you call that good Trouble? Or maybe God Trouble?
Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing. (James 1:2-4, HCSB)
(This meditation has been updated from the original post dated September 3, 2010–SCM.)