In 1 Samuel 16, the Lord promised David, a shepherd boy at the time, that he would be king of Israel. Just a few chapters later David found Himself on the run from Israel’s current king, Saul. Out of jealousy Saul wanted to kill David. In fear, David fled to the Judean wilderness. At that point in His life David probably had a hard time believing God’s promise.
Saul disdained David with a lethal envy brought on by David’s popularity among the people. He also knew of God’s promise to David, but Saul wanted his own son to follow him as king. He knew David stood in the way and he wanted him dead.
A Lonely Heart in the Wilderness
When David hid in the wilderness, he may have thought, “King? How will I ever be King? I have nothing as I am persecuted in the wilderness.” During this time, he wrote the following in Psalm 142,
“I cried out to You, O LORD;
I said, ‘You are my refuge,
My portion in the land of the living.’
“Give heed to my cry,
For I am brought very low;
Deliver me from my persecutors,
For they are too strong for me.” (Psalm 142:5-6 NASB).
In the wilderness, God stripped David of all that he held on to. God left David with nothing but Himself. God does this in our lives today and although it does not seem like it, having nothing left but God to hold on to is a beautiful place to be.
God of the Black and White
Just as a photographer strips a black and white photograph of all its color and vibrancy, sometimes God strips us of all we have learned to lean on. Upon a first glance of a black and white photo, one may be turned off by the missing color. But as one reflects deeper on the photo, the true beauty of form, shapes, texture and subtle tones begin to stand out. Just as a black white photo remains beautiful when it is left with just its tones and forms, the times in our lives are also beautiful when we are left with just God.
We all have experienced times when we feel lost and alone and think that all that God promised us is a distant, untouchable fantasy. It’s during these times when we are left with nothing else but Him. This is often exactly where He wants us to be and it can be truly beautiful.
Nothing Left but God
When all appears to be gone and we think we have nothing left, God remains with us. Even when we don’t “feel” God’s presence he still walks by our side. Left alone in a place with God and God only is often exactly where He wants us to be. Later, when we look back at that place in our life, we will see the work of God. We will see the beauty of that place.
To suffer for the sake of suffering is not beautiful, but God uses hard times in our lives to draw us closer to Him. In those hard times, we can experience Him in a pure, refreshing way. As we draw close to God, He works on our character developing beauty within us.
When David lived in caves in the wilderness, God developed the character he would need to be king of Israel. Today, God develops our character when we spend time in the caves of our lives. God makes His followers ready for the promises and plans He has for them during these seasons of life.
Pasquale “Pat” Mingarelli is a pro photographer, Christian speaker, and writer. He writes and speaks on experiencing God through His creation. Pat blogs daily on his site the Visual Bible Verse of the Day, where he combines God’s Word and His creation to encourage and inspire people in their daily life. He recently authored a free, ten-day devotional, Beyond Genesis. Learn more at VisualVerse.TheCreationSpeaks.com
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