Where Else Could I Go?

Devo’ing in a different time zone this morning. Chewing on the word on the shores of Maui. Will be, Lord willing, for the next few weeks. May has always been Sue’s month — her birthday today, Mother’s Day, and then our anniversary on the 30th. It will be this year too. Thanking God for this place, its memories, the sound of the ocean, and His abundant blessings. If grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking . . . (How He Loves, John Mark McMillan)

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To say that the day wasn’t a good day for David & Co. would be an immense understatement. By God’s grace they had just averted the uncomfortable position of having to go out with the Philistines and fight against Israel. (That could have been awkward. Wonder what David was thinking? How was he gonna get himself outta that mess?) So you think there might have been a spring in their step as he and his men anticipated returning to their families at Ziklag after being dismissed by the Philistine commanders. But not so fast . . .

And when David and his men came to the city, they found it burned with fire, and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. Then David and the people who were with him raised their voices and wept until they had no more strength to weep.

(1Samuel 30:3-4 ESV)

Like I said, not a good day for David & Co.

From the heights of deliverance to the depths of disaster. Having dodged the bullet with the Philistines only to be manhandled by the Amalekites. Wives gone. Sons gone. Daughters gone. Everything up in smoke, only ashes remaining. What’s a guy to do on a day like that?

And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.

(1Samuel 30:6 ESV)

David was greatly distressed. Ya’ think? The invisible weight on his chest almost prevented him from breathing. His stomach churning so that he could barely stand upright. The thoughts running rampant through his mind, worst case scenarios flooding his senses. Never experienced quite what David did, but I can imagine.

So what do you do when your knees are weak, your breathing is shallow, and your eyes can’t focus?

But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.

Nowhere else to turn. Nothing else to do. But to cast yourself on the One who called you. To look to the One who has, time and again, made Himself known to you. To trust in the One who has promised you.

Not the first time David had to find strength in the Lord. While on the run from Saul, while hiding out in the wilderness of Ziph, with the king in pursuit of his life every day, Jonathan had met David in the woods “and strengthened his hand in God” (23:16). This time, though, no Jonathan. No anybody, because all his men were ready to turn on him for their loss. And so David turned to the only place that was sure, to the only One who was forever faithful, to his Rock, to his Refuge, to his Fortress.

Where else could he go?

Reminded me of an old southern gospel song (surprise, surprise!).

Living below in this old sinful world
Hardly a comfort can afford
Striving alone to face temptation so
Now won’t you tell me
Where could I go, but to the Lord

Life here is grand with friends I love so dear
Comfort I get from God’s own word
Yet when I face that chilling hand of death
Won’t you tell me
Where could I go, but to the Lord

Where could I go, oh where could I go
Seeking the refuge for my soul
Needing a friend to save me in the end
Won’t you tell me
Where could I go but to the Lord
                                                                          – James B. Coats

Something about weakness that has a way of revealing His power. Something about trials that remind us He is true. Something about pressure that awakens us again to His presence.

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. . . . For when I am weak, then I am strong.    ~ Paul

(2Corinthians 12:9, 10b ESV)

Strengthen yourself in God.

Where else could I go?

To know such grace. To be reminded of such glory.

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