Troubles will often come in our lives. The death of our son’s Rottweiler puppy this morning was one of those disappointments. All the tender care, the medicines, the nice cozy pillow, the sleepless night of trying keep her alive – and then just ‘like that,’ she died.
What opportunity could the death of ‘Sergeant Peppers’ possibly bring? I don’t know, but David’s story comes to mind. I believe that David the shepherd boy prayed for the safety of his flock. Even so, there were times of attack from lions or bears. David had to fight them off – and he did it often enough to become quite good at it.
When David later heard about the giant who was tormenting the Israelite army, he became indignant. “Why should this uncircumcised Philistine defy the armies of the Living God?” he asked.
King Saul could not believe what he was hearing. When he asked David why he would possibly want to fight the giant, David reported his encounters while keeping his father’s sheep. “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine,” he declared.
It was David’s past experience of overcoming obstacles that opened the opportunity for him to confront the giant. The skill that David had developed because of previous battles was the skill that he would now use to bring down Goliath with one stone-throw.
Many times God might use challenges in our lives, even the death of things we hold dear, to develop our faith or teach us lessons that will be valuable for what lies ahead. When we complain, get angry, or start finding people to blame, we miss our greatest opportunities.
I am reminded that whatever problems we are facing, we will do best to praise Him with a grateful heart and ask that He cause it to work for good. God IS in control!