Thursday, January 10, 2008

Thoughts For Thursday

I was reminded last Sunday of a favorite passage of Scripture of mine. I've been thinking about it all week.

The Scripture is I Samuel says,

" And it came to pass, when David and his men were come to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the south, and Ziklag, and smitten Ziklag, and burned it with fire;
And had taken the women captives, that were therein: they slew not any, either great or small, but carried them away, and went on their way.
So David and his men came to the city, and, behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captives.
Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep.
And David's two wives were taken captives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite.
And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God."

Not a very happy story is it. But the life lesson I learned is found in the last line of verse 6..."David encouraged himself in the LORD his God." David had NO ONE. His wives were gone, his family was gone, his men had turned on him. He was so low. It even says that they wept until they could weep no more. David, though, rose to the challenge. He kept going. How? He learned a valuable discipline. He learned how to encourage himself in the Lord.

This is what I shared with my friend last Sunday. She felt alone...isolated. Family had turned on her. She came to church lonely and angry. She came to church looking for encouragement and strength to make it through another week. Did she find it? Nope. What I shared with her is that sometimes we don't get "it" at church. Sometimes we leave not very encouraged. Sometimes we leave feeling as alone and as isolated as we went. It's then that we have to know how to encourage ourselves in the Lord.
I think He planned it this way. He wants us to come to Him. He wants us to know that He is enough, that He's all we need.
We DO need the church. We DO need the community. We DO need the corporate worship. But we need times of just us and Jesus alone.
As the hymn says, "nothing between."

I discovered this truth several years ago and it has changed my life. I hope it will change yours.

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