DON’T JUST SHAKE YOUR HEAD
David was a man after God’s own heart, but sometimes his own heart deceived him. He ordered a census taken in violation of God’s instructions. As a result, God offered him three choices of punishment. David chose 3 days of sickness in which 70,000 of his people died because of his folly. After it was over, David built an altar for sacrifices of thanksgiving to God for His love and mercy. But the most important altar was the one he established in his heart; a place where he could always give God thanks for being so patient, kind, and forgiving.
“O LORD Eternal I can’t thank You enough; when I was down You picked me up so others could not gloat over my mistakes. When I needed You the most and cried out to You in desperation, O LORD Eternal, my One True God, You were right there to heal my broken spirit. O LORD Eternal, I could have ended up in the grave had You not come in time to pull me back from its edge. So to all believers everywhere I say, ‘Worship the LORD Eternal, and praise the awesomeness of who His is. His discipline is short and quick, but His compassion is never ending. We may lie down and spend the whole night weeping, but by morning we’ll be shouting for joy! There was a time when things were going so well with me that I thought I would never fail. I knew You were behind it all, O LORD Eternal, You made me feel as strong as a rock. But when the blessings stopped coming, I started getting scared. That’s when I began to call out to You, O LORD Eternal, and prayed fervently to my Divine Master. It didn’t make any sense for me to end up in the grave; I knew a decaying body could not worship You for Your faithfulness. So I begged for Your attention, that You would be merciful and help me, O LORD Eternal. That’s when You transformed my despondency into dancing; yes, You helped me pull off my mourning cloth and put on a robe of joy. That’s why now I endlessly sing hymns to You with everything that’s within me, O LORD Eternal, my One True God. And I will go on giving You thanks forever and ever.” Psalm 30:1-12
Reflection: Thomas A. Edison had an assistant who was becoming very upset over his inability to solve a particular problem. Every now and then Edison would ask, “How are you doing?” He assistant would shoot back, “Terrible, I’ve done five hundred different experiments and found nothing that works. It’s all a waste of time!” The great inventor placed his hand on the assistant’s shoulder and said, “You’re wrong, you’ve found five hundred wrong ways to rectify it. Now keep going until you find the right solution.” David found out the hard way that he could put his abilities and resources to better use by following God’s will. But the main source of strength during those times remained God’s unwavering love for His anointed. God’s encouragement, compassion, understanding, and unending faithfulness helped David make it through. So we can learn that no matter what trials and hardships our mistakes may bring us, we must never unplug ourselves from our divine lifeline and source of forgiveness, mercy and grace or shake our heads in disgust when things don’t work out our way. God refuses to throw someone away for whom He paid the highest price to redeem.