Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Spiritual Exercise


Most people like to make New Year's resolutions and I am no exception.  I have my list and will check it frequently throughout the year to monitor my progress.  But that's me, I'm a list person.

My husband commented at the gym tonight that he hoped more people would just give up on their resolutions so that it wouldn't be so busy.  For those of you who don't know my husband, he just has that kind of sense of humor. Unfortunately, the truth is that most people will not stick with their resolutions for the long haul.

 And it kind of made me think about what I read last night.

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 
strenth to weep.  David's two wives also had been taken captive, Ahinoam of 
Jezreel and Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel.  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. 
1 Samuel 30:1-6 ESV

Thankfully, neither my husband nor I have ever had anyone threatening to stone us, but I think we can all stand in David's shoes (or sandals) for just a minute.  
Whether it is watching your husband bear up under the stress of being a pastor, as in my case. . .
Or going through difficult times yourself where you find yourself with nowhere else to turn. . .
We need to have a plan of action for dealing with life's trials or we will just react - and I don't know about you - but my initial reactions may not always be the best.
                David's response or plan of action, as I am going to call it, is astonishing.  He "strengthened himself in the LORD his God" when many men would have been considering their options (such as R-U-N from the angry looking guys holding big rocks).

But I got to thinking about that.  What exactly does that mean?  My ESV study Bible cross-referenced Psalm 56:3-4

When I am afraid, 
I put my trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
What can flesh do to me?

David was pretty familiar with danger, and his response was to trust in God.  

You see, I started thinking of this "strengthening himself in the LORD" sort of like spiritual exercise.  We desperately need that daily time in God's Word, communing with Him in prayer, worshiping Him, and bringing glory to Him in our actions.  This is our spiritual exercise and the way that we too can strengthen ourselves in the LORD.  Because when we get right to the crux of the matter, we need Him. 

I hope to grow closer to Him as the year goes forward -and that's a New Year's resolution I pray that I can keep.


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