I'd be lying if I said I hadn't been discouraged. I've been way down... trying to dig out of the deep, dark fog... down. I'm not sure discouraged can even describe the way I felt, especially last week. But it'll have to do for now.
One of the scriptures that came to mind as I was trying to crawl out of the foggy pit, is 1 Samuel 30:6. It says David encouraged himself in the Lord. David was in a very difficult spot. He and his warriors had just returned from battle to find Ziklag plundered and burned to the ground. Their stuff, their wives, their kids - all gone. The city was destroyed.
Verse four describes their heartbreak by saying, Then David and the people who were with him lifted their voices and wept until there was no strength in them to weep. I can honestly say I've been in that emotional spot where there literally wasn't strength to weep anymore. It's rare for me - but it happens.
So, I wondered just how David encouraged himself in the Lord. Did he think back about Goliath? Did he consider how God led him to take down that giant with a single stone? He knew it had been God's hand that delivered Goliath into his hand. In 1 Samuel 17:37, David stated that the Lord who had delivered him from bears and lions - would also deliver him from the hand of the Philistine. There was no doubt. I wonder, is this what David was thinking about as he encouraged himself in the Lord?
When David went out to face Goliath, he stopped at the spring and picked up 5 smooth stones. Did you ever wonder why? It may have been one of any number of reasons - but I heard one time that it was because Goliath had 4 brothers and maybe David thought - if I take out one - the other four are gonna show up too. Maybe he was preparing for an onslaught. He knew if God gave him one - He could give him the other four too.
Caregiving seems to be like that sometimes. It's not just one thing. It's a whole lot of things stacked one on top of the other over and over again. We have to face each day, not with just one stone to take out a single giant, but with many stones as there are many giants in the land. It wars at our souls, and digs at our emotions. Caregiving can be discouraging, disheartening and debilitating. But there is hope.
How can we encourage ourselves in the Lord even in the midst of an unchanging situation? It might take four more stones on top of four more stones and then just four more stones. That's really not an exaggeration. We have to remind ourselves that God is still in the business of felling giants. And He knows we have many of them to deal with. But, He let us take out one - so He'll equip us to take out the rest.
Ziklag was just one dark moment in David's journey. He'd had many before, He'd have more after. Today is not our end-all either. There have been good and bad moments- and there will continue to be good and bad moments. We just need to remember that God is there to help us overcome each and everyone. He always makes a way to escape.
Today I'm going to think about those other four stones in David's pouch. My thoughts will be on how he took out Goliath with one stone - and how one solid word of truth can take out any giant I face today. But then, I'm going to think about how there are still four more in reserve. My meditations will be on how there will always be enough to take out Goliath and his four brothers. I'll remind myself that God will always make a way. Just like David recovered from Ziklag God has a recovery plan for me too. I'll lean in to Him today so I can hear Him more clearly. I'll wait for Him and trust Him to deliver me from the giants of today. Will you join me?