Have you ever sat down to watch a movie and you foresee the ending because it was so predictable? On the flip side, there are some movies that keep you at the edge of your seat trying to figure out what's next. Just when things appear as though they turn around for the better, something unexpected happens, and you find yourself grappling with this question: Why did that have to happen? The ending you pictured in your mind shifted, and you are left wondering how it will all work out.
To share a little piece of my story, at 16 years old the Lord saved me and turned my life around. I finally found the love and the acceptance I was so desperately searching for. God gave me a promise that he was going to use my life to impact others for him. I was in love with Jesus and committed my life to serve him wholeheartedly. Jesus was my everything. Along came a man of God, who loved the Lord and loved to serve God’s people. We got married; it was such a beautiful wedding. We did youth ministry together, were leaders in our church, and our hearts were ready to do all God wanted us to do. Everything appeared to line up perfectly. Then, life changed as hurtful situations took place. One day we were a couple moving forward with a plan, and then the next, we were separated and unsure how to move ahead. He was in a rehab home in another city, and my toddler and I moved in with a friend. To top it off, I was 3 months pregnant with our second child. Our once predictable life took a hard, unexpected turn. This had me and the people around me wondering what was going to happen. I was afraid, angry, alone, and so unsure of what would happen next. My husband was confused and hurting, battling shame and fear.
Throughout the Bible, we see God call his people to do great things. Every story has many unexpected turns in it. We, as the readers, know the end of these stories. However, these men and women had to live through it without knowing how the twists and turns of life would play out.
Let's take a look into David’s story:
- 1 Samuel 16- David, a shepherd boy, was anointed by the prophet Samuel to be the next king.
- 1 Samuel 17- David defeated Goliath in the name of the Lord and became a hero to the people of Israel.
- 1 Samuel 18- David became best friends with Jonathan, King Saul’s son, and later married the king’s daughter.
- 1 Samuel 19- King Saul tried to kill David; he was jealous and feared David, because he saw the Lord was with him.
This is where David’s story took an unexpected turn; he found himself in a cave, trapped and unsure where to go. This mighty warrior was now trembling in fear, hungry, and feeling utterly alone.
Read Psalm 142, which was written while David was in the cave and shows how he responded:
- David cried out to the Lord– Pour out your complaint before him; tell the Lord your troubles. Psalm 142:1-2
The Bible says in Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”
- David trusted in the Lord’s sovereignty– He knows the way. Take refuge in his care. Psalm 142:3-5
The Bible says in Isaiah 55:9, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
- David relied on the Lord’s deliverance– He is mighty to save. He will never leave you. Psalm 142:6-7
When life doesn’t make sense, we can trust that he is faithful.
There was a process God was allowing David to go through. It is in these unexpected turns in life where we can learn the most about our God. As I look back at that long season of uncertainty in my life I do not feel pain or regret, but instead, I feel gratitude. God used that situation to do a deep work in my life. I learned in those lonely times how to trust that God is the writer of my story and he knows the end. I learned to surrender my marriage and my future to the Lord. I learned to lean on the Lord as my strength. We are now 15 years married and we give God all the glory; he has been the glue that has kept us together. There have been many twists to the story, but we take courage in knowing that even the most broken parts can be used for his glory.
Maybe God has given you a promise, but now you are left feeling abandoned, alone, afraid, and unsure of what comes next. I pray that you would be encouraged knowing that God is faithful. Philippians 1:6 says, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
God, I thank you that you hear my cry and that I can take refuge in you. Teach me, oh Lord, to cling to who you are and to trust in your mighty hand to save. No matter the dark cave I may find myself in, I know you are working. I surrender my will, and I trust that you are in control. Amen.