FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION –
David’s problems due to his foolish census taking were not over quickly. He spent many long nights weeping and pleading for God’s understanding and forgiveness. But his people were harder on him than God was. Many of them lost loved ones in the plague, and were not about to forgive their king so quickly. So David turned to the one he knew he could trust to understand his dilemma; someone who is not easily offended because He has a patient and a forgiving heart when trying to help us learn and understand the benefit of being obedient.
“O LORD Eternal, You are my only hope; don’t fail me now since I put my complete trust in You to be fair with me in coping with this mess I’m in. I’m waiting for You to hurry up and get me out of this debacle; yes, be the One to defend me and protect me from further harm. You’ve always been like a fortified castle and an impenetrable fortress to me; You are always there to coach me and instruct me, because that’s the kind of Friend You are. This was a camouflaged trap set to catch me; if anyone can get me out it’s You. O LORD Eternal, my faithful King, I’m putting everything into Your hands, because I know You have the answer. I can’t stand it when I see others place all their hopes on empty promises, because I have nothing but complete trust in the LORD Eternal. It’s the knowledge that Your love for me will never die that keeps me going; and I rejoice whenever You show me that You are aware of how miserable I am; no one knows how distressed I am, better than You. Some walked off and left me as though I was already finished; I felt like trash. Yes, I panicked once when I thought You didn’t care either. But then I learned You were the only one who really cared, that’s why You didn’t abandon me. So listen everyone, love the LORD Eternal because it’s the LORD Eternal who safeguards the faithful and will more than repay those who try to put them down. So stay strong, be courageous, and never give up on the LORD Eternal!” Psalm 31:1-7, 12, 22-24
Reflection: In Red Bank Cemetery, Waynesville, North Carolina – some twenty miles west of Asheville, on Route 23 – you’ll find an engraving on the tombstone of 25 year old Effie Jean Robinson (1897-1922), which reads: “Come blooming youths, as you pass by, and on these lines do cast an eye. As you are now, so once was I; as I am now, so must you be; prepare for death, and follow me.” One day a person visiting the cemetery noticed that someone had scratched this addendum underneath: “To follow you, I am not content, how do I know, which way you went?” David left no doubt about where he was headed. We all know that our struggles with difficulties, trials, and hardships serve as examples for others to either follow, or to avoid the same errors we made. David did all he could to survive with God’s help, leaving the impossible up to his loving, caring God. If we want our lives to be an example for others to follow, we must remember that we can only do so while we’re alive. So let God guide you in coping with difficulties and disappointments so they become road signs for those still looking for the right way to go. Never accept failure as an option. Always remember, you are not handling these things all by yourself; God’s Spirit is right beside you, holding you, encouraging you, and nothing can separate you from God’s love.