Car Park Lookouts

The way to discover what section of the beach has the best waves is by climbing the highest sand dune or looking for the nearest car park look out. When you need clarity it’s helpful to get to higher ground for some perspective.

When faced with utter devastation this is exactly what David needed. His whole family had been stolen by a band of raiders, along with the wives and children of his entire army. When they returned home to the smouldering village they were overwhelmed with grief and ‘wept till they had no more strength to weep’ – 1 Samuel 30:3a

When overwhelmed by grief or pain it can be difficult to see clearly and discern the best way forward. It’s at this point that we need to look for ‘higher ground’ to get some perspective. For David this meant climbing the ‘mountain of God’ and drawing close to Him:

‘But David strengthened himself in the Lord His God’ (30:6a)

At a time he was so drained of strength that he could not even weep, David discovered the true source of his strength was found in the Lord his God. But this wasn’t something that happened automatically.

Just as a surfer has to climb to the car park look out for a better view, or a thirsty person has to walk to the river to be refreshed, so too David had to make the choice (despite his overwhelming feelings) to draw near to God. But as he drew near he began to get some perspective:

‘Then David asked the Lord, “Should I chase after this band of raiders? Will I catch them?” And the Lord told him, “Yes, go after them. You will surely recover everything that was taken from you!” (30:8)

It was possible that David initially felt abandoned, and may have doubted God’s goodness. But as he climbed the ‘mountain’ he realised that rather than being abandoned, God was right with him and had a plan to restore all that was lost:

‘David got back everything the Amalekites had taken… nothing was missing’ (30:18-19)

Whether you are in the midst of grief or simply need some clarity, the best way forward is in the upward direction. As you draw near to God you will find new strength and a fresh perspective that will shift you from the sand dunes and onto your best wave yet!

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