Thursday, 03 May 2012
After the death of king Saul and his son Jonathan, David was still in the land of the Philistines when he went to God asked if he should go to Judah, the Lord said "Go" David then asked "Where should I go?"...God's answer was "Hebron". So David took his family and so did all his men and they moved into Hebron, then the men of Judah came and anointed David king over the tribe of Judah. David was told that the men from Jabesh Gilead had buried Saul, he sent messengers to them thanking them for their kindness shown to Saul, he let them know that he would show them the same kindness.
David was anointed by God to be the next king of Israel, he spent the last ten years on the run from king Saul who wanted him dead. David mourns Saul's death along with the death of his best friend Jonathan. When you read David's lamentation of king Saul it leads us to believe that Saul was a good man, David's words are so kind. Those unaware of the terrible selfish king that Saul truly was would never know on reading David's lament.
David's reaction to Saul's death is such an example for us, his humility paints a beautiful canvas on how to deal with our enemies and how the trials we face and the hurt our hearts experience, are all things that force us to grow in Christ-likeness. With every trial we face, either we grow or stop growing.
David asks God if he should go to Judah, he does not say "So dude, where do I go to get my kingdom? I am the anointed king right?". David wants to be in God's will, he knows that God has a plan for him and that all will fall into place in God's time. David has waited ten years, what is one more day? or year? If only there was a way for us to sync up our patience with God's timing life would be less complicated. There is one thing we often do, we ask God "why", why is this taking so long? We ask why God has us where He has us, when we should be asking 'what' does He want us to do. When God tells David to go to Hebron David does not ask Him "why?".
When David sends word to the men of Jabesh Gilead, it's not a courtesy move, it is David caring for them. Keep in mind that for ten years Saul has tried to kill David, now the men from Jabesh Gilead have risked their lives to rescue the body of Saul and given him a burial. Anyone looking at the situation might think that David who was now the king of the tribe of Judah would see that as an act of disrespect, yet David sees their kindness and vows to protect them from the Philistines who killed Saul.
People watch us, from the coffee shop barista to the person in line behind us at the grocery store, we might only be in their lives for a few minutes, but how we treat the cashier is seen, to placing that nameless divider thing down to wishing them a good day. When aware that others are looking we try to act as our best self, or at least the best version we can come up with. When no one is around we have to look at our true self.
I know that my true self is where I tend to hold all the bad I hide from the world, those areas that need work on and the others I have not given to the Lord the way I should have. When I look at myself and see unwanted things that are gathering up dust, what I should see is me giving those to God, putting them in His hands. So often that is not what happens, but I am a work in progress -- an imperfect heart who is in love with a perfect loving God.
Showing kindness might be hard at times, but the person receiving only sees the act of kindness not all the work that is happening behind the scenes. Showing kindness should not be like looking at old pairings of moments we once had; it needs to be ever recent, to the point that we smell like paint.
Our acts of kindness seen or unseen are the many colors, while a heavenly hand holds the brush used to paint us.
When have you been the recipient of an act of kindness? When have you performed an act of kindness for someone else? What do you feel you got out of these experiences?