I know I probably shouldn’t have been in bed before midnight on a Friday night. I knew that eventually God was going to give me a good shake or two for thinking I could avoid my quiet time. And I was right. So here I am at 11:30pm sitting in a barely lit corner of my living room hastily putting words to keyboard remembering that God has an incredible sense of humor. That sometimes I don’t get.
Tonight’s devotional is from 1 Samuel 17:31-40. It’s the classic story of David and Goliath in which King Saul puts the momentous armor on the little boy and watches as he shrugs it off. This same boy will come to haunt the old man after this moment because God has chosen David to be the next King. The path he takes to becoming King is one of the most incredible stories in itself and it is a telling one that leaves Saul and his son dead at the end.
I have my favorite parts of this story. The imagery of David ripping apart Lions, Tigers and Bears (oh my!) in defense of his sheep is a powerful one. In imagining it tonight I turned my thoughts to Jesus and His Love for us – and how he would tear through the legions of Hell in defense of His Beloved Bride. It was a heartening reminder to me of the greatness of Jesus and how little I remember the depth, width and intensity of His Love for us.
The other part is a recent addition to my list and it comes tonight. It is Saul’s reaction to David’s impassioned speech about his actions protecting his flock and how God protected him then. David emphatically says that God Alive will deliver him from the Giant Goliath. Saul’s reaction? In the “NIV” it’s, “Go, and The Lord be with you.” In “The Message” it’s put plainly – “Go. And God help you!”
David’s absolute faith in his fate and his complete lack of worry leveled me tonight. In reading through the notes in my devotional it spotlights the idea of making the choice to move, “…the attention of our anxious hearts away from the waves and direct it to the One who walks on them.”
I’m a worrier. I’m big into carrying stress, fears and everything else for myself and others. Tonight reading this gave me a good ole’ fashioned Gibbs slap to the back of the head. I’ll leave you with what the devotional suggests to do. “Look at Him and say, ‘Lord have mercy.’ Say it again an again not anxiously but with the confidence that He is very close to you and will put your soul to rest.” The words come from Priest and Author Henri Nouwen.
And so that is my challenge today and through the weekend. Lord, have mercy.