Life is unpredictable and sometimes we face situations that seem to shatter our dreams and plans. In short, Life throws us curve balls. They are unexpected, disorienting and destructive.
There we are moving along happily... things are going our way, we are enjoying victories, or at least are just having a good time. And then bam! Something happens that turns our world completely upside down! Something that shatters our confidence by overturning the stability and predictability of our world.
When really bad curve balls are thrown our way, we may even feel like we have lost everything and there is no hope for the future. This is what happened in the story of David at Ziklag.
In this story we learn that God can turn even the most difficult circumstances or curve balls into victories and home runs.
Responding to Life's Curve Balls - A lesson from Ziklag
In 1 Sam 30, we read a story of curve-balls.
David's band of warriors had been away from their camp. And while they were gone, a hostile enemy force had invaded, set their camp ablaze and captured their families.
...amid the chaos, we are to look for hope and re-establish order. According to Nahum 1:3 - God has his way in the midst of the storm, whirlwind or turbulence.
Just imagine what that must have felt like for them - in a blink of an eye to lose all their property and the people closest to them. Not surprisingly, the Bible records that they completely broke down and sank into despair.
In verse 4 of 1 Sam 30, the Bible says "they wept until they had no more strength left to weep"
This is a natural human response to loss - we cry. We feel like we have been plunged into a dark uncertainty and a state of helpless chaos.
But amid the chaos, we are to look for hope and re-establish order. We can be encouraged in the knowledge that God is still in control even when we feel things are out of control.
According to Nahum 1:3 - God has his way in the midst of the storm, whirlwind or turbulence.
A deeper response to curve balls is expected from us as believers.
In 1 Samuel 30:1-3 David and his men found hope in the fact that no life was lost. And David was wise enough to still turn to God even in the midst of the trouble because he understood that God is still in control even when things feel out of control
God is still in control even when we feel things are out of control
Once we as believers truly embrace this truth, we can begin to take corrective actions that help us reverse the curve balls and reestablish our God-given dominion.
Corrective actions to re-establish dominion.
1. Pursue the presence of God to hear his instructions concerning the situation.
The presence of God is the place of order and there is bread (His word) to give strength. Like David, who asked for the Ephod (which was a means of prayer and asking God's counsel), we too must seek God's insight into the confusing situations in our lives.
For us, this means that we make time to deep prayer. And we will know that we are in His presence when we hear a word. And often this comes through instructions given via His written Word in the Bible. You can read about this in this article.
To trigger this, ask direct questions when you pray like David did.
2. Execute the instructions you receive in Prayer
David got instructions to pursue the enemy. So he did. He did not make excuses or negotiate. He simply executed the instruction to purse.
And this led ultimately to his recovery of dominion. We can learn a lot from this.
Sometimes, God's instruction will require boldness, courage or discomfort. But if we act decisively on God's instruction and continue to follow God's lead, out victory will materialize just like ti did for David.
But there are some things to keep in mind as we go along.
3. On your journey of restoration, be kind and generous
Usually, when we are hurt or hurting, kindness is the last thing on our minds. The enemy wants us instead to feel sorry for ourselves and adopt a mean demeanour to others.
But often kindness is a key to truly winning a victory. Just like we see here in this story of Ziklag.
David was in hot pursuit of his enemies when he and his troop encountered a sick and dying slave. Nothing would have been easier than to ignore the dying man and keep going. But David made time for kindness. And as it turned out, the man he helped ended giving him crucial information of the location of the very thing David was after.
This information is what led David to his victory. With the intel he got from this slave, he was able to launch an attack on the army that had invaded them and, true to God's word, recover everything PLUS extra spoil from the camp of the enemy.
When we are going through hard times, we MUST never fall into the trap of selfishness or meanness. Kindness to other will carry the day and show us the path to victory.
Related to kindness, is generosity.
4. On your journey of restoration, practice generosity
The Bible records that after David recovered everything and even got more from the camp of the enemy, he sent gifts all over the region to officers he had alliances with. (See 1 Sam 30:26-3)
Nothing was stopping David from holding on to everything he had. After all, it was his life and the lives of his men that had been on the line, right? Not the lives of these other people in the area.
But David was generous with his winnings. Likewise, when you are restored fully from the curve ball you might have been thrown, and when you have been blessed even beyond your former state, remember to be generous.
Generosity is an attribute of God Who graciously blesses people not because they deserve it, but because of His mercy.
Be more like Your Father - God - and when your dominion is restored, be generous too.
If we do these things, we will surely be better able to handle life's curve balls and even turn things around to restore and increase our dominion and fulfill our destiny.
Do have a blessed week ahead and re-establish dominion in Jesus name.