If you are a human and living on this earth, chances are you have been in a difficult situation. God has called us to do life in community with other people, and we know very well that people are not perfect. So how do we continue to be love and love others when things get tough? When we’re in the middle of a fight with our spouse? When things at work aren’t going well? When our kids aren’t listening? When a friend is growing distant?
It makes me think of the story of how David came to be king in the book of 1 Samuel. He was anointed to be king when he was a young teenager, but it would be 20 years before he was actually appointed king. Saul, the current king, loved David at first, but things quickly turned as Saul began to think that David wanted to steal his throne. So Saul and his army sought out David with the intention to kill him. While David was in hiding, he had a close friend, Jonathan, who happened to be Saul’s son. Jonathan would warn David when Saul’s army was near or about to attack, helping to spare David’s life on more than one occasion.
The road between hearing God’s promise and actually seeing it fulfilled was not easy for David. God knew that he needed someone he could fully trust during what could have been a time of complete isolation. Jonathan was a gift from God, but David had to choose to come out of hiding to receive that gift. Can you imagine what would have happened if David chose to stay hidden instead of trusting God and Jonathan? Going and growing through 20 years of difficult situations side by side with other people is what helped develop David into the king God called him to be.
Sometimes when things get hard, we tend to want to build walls around our hearts instead of letting people in. Maybe we’re embarrassed. Maybe it’s pride. We want to stay in hiding, just like David could have chosen to do. That isn’t the Lord’s best for us.