Sometimes it’s the unanswered prayer that hurts the most. The long awaited dream, the sought after goal that gets lost in the un-answers. Silence can be interpreted as rejection. Delay can be translated as defeat. It can hurt deeper than any flesh wound, causing your very heart to ail.
A young shepherd boy was called out from the fields by a somewhat-put-off older brother. Once back inside with his father, this youngest of 8 was greeted by the most prominent leader outside of the King. Samuel reached inside his pocket and pulled out the anointing oil. Only 15 years old, with sheep dung still on his boots, David was anointed King of Israel.
I wonder how he slept that night, dreams and thoughts and ideas raging in his mind. I wonder what prayers he began to pray as he led the sheep out again the next morning. Can’t you see the radiant twinkle in his eye!
David’s journey from anointing to appointing was a long and treacherous one. After one leisurely, normal summer of serving in King Saul’s courts as a musician, David spent the next 20 years on the run. Yes, I said 20 years. Running, not for the protection of his call to be King, but running just to save his life. At one point, this shepherd-boy-anointed-future-King is found hiding in a cave.
A cave. (Note: we’re not talking Motel 6 in some podunk town, not even an abandoned home in the middle of no where. I don’t mean he’s got to stay in his apartment when he dreams of palaces, or drive his beater car when he looks forward to chariots driven by white stallions. I literally mean rock walls, dirt floor, dark and damp and cold cave.)
His father’s humble tents were better than this.
David was hiding for his life, while being hidden from living. His anointing, the very purpose God had placed on his life, the very passion that put life in his veins, was now the very thing that sent him into this dark and lonely cave.
Where was God? How could God call a shepherd boy out of the field to anoint him as King and then lead him into a cave, hiding for his life?
Have you been there? Surrounded by cold, dark walls. Unnoticed, alone, confused and scared. Have you sat in the dark and wondered if taking the step, accepting the anointing, was a mistake because it landed you here, in this cave? Ever thought you were crazy, the fool, for thinking you could do that thing, have that goal, get that result?
“I cry aloud to the Lord; I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy. I pour out before Him my complaint; before Him I tell my trouble. When my spirit grows faint within me…. Look and see, there is no one at my right hand; no one is concerned for me.” Psalm 142:1-2a, 4
The name of the cave where David hid was Adullam. Adullam means “resting place” in Hebrew. In the run for his life, in the battle to hold on to his call, God lead David to a resting place. There he placed his burdens, his offenses, his anger, his fear, and yes, even his doubt at the feet of God. In that dark place of solitude David prayed, a lot. He worshiped along those cavernous walls. And he listened in the silence. What could have become an ending to his confidence, a blow to his heart, became an influence of faith.
“My heart is confident in you, O God; my heart is confident. No wonder I can sing your praises! Wake up, my heart! Wake up, O lyre and harp! I will wake the dawn with my song. I will thank you, Lord, among all the people. I will sing your praises among the nations. For your unfailing love is as high as the heavens. Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens. May your glory shine over all the earth.” Psalm 57:7-11
We, like David, can turn this cave of hiding into a refuge of rest.
Today I’m linking up with a community of writers who are inspiring me to live life a little brighter, to pursue Him with everything I am and to write my heart out! You just might find a word of encouragement if you dare to meet me over there. Click HERE if you dare!
P.S. Did you know that Bible Gateway is loaded with tools to study your Bible. It is one of my all-time go-to’s to study! Check them out at BibleGateway.com (all scriptures quoted in this post link directly to the NLT version on Bible Gateway. 🙂