Give me a word, Lord: GROWING PAINS

I Samuel 24:4-6 The men said, “This is the day the Lord spoke of when he said to you, ‘I will give your enemy into your hands for you to deal with as you wish.’” Then David crept up unnoticed and cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. Afterward, David was conscience-stricken for having cut off a corner of his robe. He said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the Lord’s anointed, or lay my hand on him; for he is the anointed of the Lord.”
10-11 This day you have seen with your own eyes how the Lord delivered you into my hands in the cave. Some urged me to kill you, but I spared you; I said, ‘I will not lay my hand on my lord, because he is the Lord’s anointed.’ See, my father, look at this piece of your robe in my hand! I cutoff the corner of your robe but did not kill you.

Is there anybody in your life that you just want to cut off, get rid of, say “see ya”? If we’re being truthful, the answer has to be yes. There are friends, loved ones, and even enemies who have wronged us or hurt us in ways that seem to be unforgivable. Our human nature is to get mad and get even, or get mad and cut them out of our lives.

This scripture is a clip from I Samuel 24. I urge you to read the whole chapter or even the whole book. Saul was God’s appointed, but he messed up and didn’t follow God’s command. David was then anointed to be the next king, but Saul was still on the throne for the time being. Saul felt threatened by David. He knew that God had taken his hand off of him, and that David was now God’s chosen. He was angry and jealous, and all he wanted was to kill David. He chased him relentlessly. God always protected David. Then one day, Saul went into a cave to relieve himself. He didn’t know that David was in the cave. David crept up and cut off a piece of Saul’s robe. He had the perfect opportunity to kill the man that had been trying so hard to kill him, but he didn’t. And then, what’s even more important, David’s conscience got to him, and he felt guilty for even cutting the hem of his robe. When Saul left the cave, David called out to him. He told him that he had the chance to kill him, but he didn’t. Saul realized what a truly good man David was, and he saw first hand that David had repaid evil with good. He knew that David would be the next king, and that he would be a very good king.

David knew that he was already next in line to be king. He could’ve just killed Saul and sped things up, but God’s timing doesn’t work that way, and I think David knew that. I also think that God used Saul to grow David into the man that He wanted him to be. He grew in wisdom, strength, and integrity due to the trials he faced while dealing with Saul.

Maybe, just maybe, God put some strong willed, mean hearted, evil doing person in your path to grow you. Hmmm. Never thought of that! Maybe He put that person in your life for you to grow them. Maybe you are supposed to show that person the love of Christ. You may be the only example of Christ that person ever sees in their lifetime. It’s hard to see our growth during those hard times, but when we look back, we see how God grew us through the situations. Knowing Christ is important, but once we know Him, we have to grow…grow in knowledge of Him, grow in our relationship with Him, grow in our relationship with others, and grow in strength and integrity in ourselves. We have to grow daily to become more like Christ. Those daily struggles and knuckleheads that are placed in our paths are part of the growing process. Let those tough times grow you closer to God. Growing pains are hard, but the reward is so great!

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