We all remember heartache. We remember our first failed romance (in some cases our second, third…sorry). We can vividly recount instances of people in our lives who used us, betrayed us, and cast us aside. We can chart our growth by the times we have been disappointed in people around us. Through these experiences we learn not to trust. We stay secluded, because if we don’t open up to other people, we will not feel this loss again. These losses usually happen when things are going right, when we are making progress in our lives. They stymie us, and in some cases permanently stop our growth and development.
This is not God’s plan for us, however. In 2 Samuel 19:5-8, Joab delivers this message clearly. David, the master general, has just won another decisive victory, and morale was should have been high. But David was distraught. His favorite son, Absalom, the man who had turned against him and sought his death, was dead. So great was David’s grief that his army, the VICTORIOUS army, sneaked into the city feeling like traitors. Maybe you haven’t, but I have been there. I have stood in a place where God was opening doors for me and advancing me, and my only concern was that I would lose the people around me who didn’t want me to advance. I was more concerned with the feelings of the people who were actively halting my growth than with the blessings of God and the people who were helping me move forward.
Do we still do this today? Are we still more concerned with those that hurt us than those that help? Do we still obsess over what he/she did back then, to the detriment of our present relationships? Too often our partners suffer because we can’t stop rehashing what was done to us. Our friends suffer because their efforts are rebuffed because you’re still bitter about the person that betrayed you. Your entire family is punished because one member of the family hurt you. This leaves us isolated and alone, wallowing in our pain and suffering. It also leaves us in one other very important place. Alone. Right where the enemy wants us.
We are created to be together. God’s plan is for us to fight together, to support each other, to help in hard times and to celebrate good times. And He wants us to do this all in unity. If we are so inaccessible that our comrades can’t reach us, we will soon be overrun. Nature gives us real life examples of this in the wild. A hunting pack will separated a member of a herd. They will then harass, harry, and hector the poor isolated creature until fatigue and injuries overwhelm it. Then they can feast. Think of it, the enemy’s job is to separate you from the Body, because it makes you vulnerable for attack. How many times do we make it easy for the enemy by isolating ourselves?
While we think about that, let us examine the feelings of the David’s men. They fought for a king that they believed in. They risked their lives, and their brothers and comrades died in that battle for a cause. They would willingly forfeit their lives for the king. They were leaving families behind to fight in a war they believed in. They had fought battle after battle and now, after a noteworthy success, their king was weeping for the person who betrayed him most. That must have been a truly low point. Can you imagine them, slinking back home as if they were the defeated army? Now think about your friend that you have alienated. The people you pushed away, because back in the day someone did you wrong. Put yourself in their shoes as they try to connect with you, to support you, to help you advance, only to be rebuffed at every turn. They too are sacrificing time and energy for your effort. Will you make them feel like David’s army? A better option is to do what David eventually did, get up, rally your forces and continue the fight, knowing that God has given you the victory.
Heading back to the deep waters,
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Just a little birdy and fish about the Father's business. Helping to better the world one blog at a time.