"Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep." 1 Samuel 30:4 (KJV)
Today, as I was driving down a country road, I passed a church with a cemetery in the side yard. I noticed a car parked by the road, and then my eyes traveled beyond the car to a pitiful, heart-wrenching sight. A woman who appeared to be maybe 35 years old or so was sitting on the ground at the foot of a grave. She appeared to be talking to the still, unseen form buried deep beneath her, and she was continually patting the top of the ground with her hand.
I mentioned it to Mom who was riding in the front seat beside me and hadn't noticed. She asked me if the woman was crying. I told her I couldn't really tell, but I commented about how she was patting the grave with her hand. As we rode along, we talked of how sad it was, and my mind began to wander....who was buried there? Was it her mother? Father? Husband? Who? What was the woman saying? Why was she patting the ground? Who was it that she had loved so much who had already made the crossing to the other side?
It was heartbreaking to imagine the cause of her grief.
It was touching to know that she cared enough to visit the grave and remember.
It was hopeless to think that possibly there were words she wished she would have said while the person was still alive and could hear them.
Her apparent anguish reminds me of the story in the Bible that today's Scripture passage was taken from.
King David and his men returned to Ziklag after being gone for a period of time. When they got there, they were met with the tragic and heartbreaking news that all of their wives and children had been kidnapped and taken captive by the Amalekites, and the whole city had been burned with fire. Included in the captives were David's two wives, Ahinoam and Abigail.
Can you imagine the shock? When they left, their wives and children were perfectly fine. Their homes and their city was in tact. All was peaceful. All was well.
But, after they left, something terrible...sometime beyond awful...had befallen their loved ones....those who were the apple of their very eyes. All was torn apart. All was lost.
They came home to the total opposite of what they left. Expecting to find things in a normal state, probably looking forward to rest and the comforts of home after a tiring three day journey, you can imagine their shock to come home to nothing...and no one.
When David and his men saw the devastation, when they felt the loss of their wives and children, when they realized everything had been burned to the ground, they lifted up their voice and wept, "until they had no more power to weep."
That is a LOT of tears. For a grown man to weep that hard and that long would truly require a great deal of crying. They grieved and mourned from the depths of their soul...until they could weep no more.
Ever been there?
To the point that you have cried until you couldn't cry anymore?
Maybe you received sudden and horrible news and the shock overwhelmed you.
Perhaps your life was left in shambles with no hope for the future and no comfort for your heart.
In a moment, your whole world was changed and turned upside down, and nothing at all was familiar. Nothing was the same, and you feared it never would be again.
My friend, I want to encourage you that there is hope in God. Whatever it is that you are facing today is not impossible with Him. He may have allowed things to fall apart around you, but it isn't over yet.
You are still here. You're still alive. There is still hope.
Come with me to verse six of the same chapter. It says, "...but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God." Everyone was turning against him, blaming him for what had happened. Their hearts were so broken, they needed some where to place the blame. So, they blamed their leader.
He was dealing with his own grief. After all, his loss was as horrible and devastating and enormous as theirs was. But, instead of totally losing hope and giving in to complete despair, he encouraged himself in the Lord his God.
He looked up. Right there, from his point of unbearable pain. And He fixed his eyes on the Lord his God.
Then, he took action. Determined strength rose within him, and he asked God whether or not he should pursue the enemy. God answered his question with a powerful YES! "And He (God) answered him, PURSUE; for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all."
God promised David a complete recovery!
But, he had to pick himself up by the bootstraps and....pursue. He had to fight back. He had to believe in the Lord his God and go forward. He couldn't afford to give in to his pain and grief and desperation. His whole company of men were counting on him...to be strong. To be valiant. To fight. He had no choice.
So, David pursued. Let's fast forward to verse 18. "And David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away: and David rescued his two wives." Did you grasp that?
David recovered all.
Everything and everyone was restored...back to their rightful place.
This same man....this David...wrote the biggest majority of the book of Psalms. It provides some of the most encouraging, inspiring, comforting reading available to man. He wrote this in Psalm 42:11 (KJV), "Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God."
I want to remind you to do as David did....hope in God....for a complete, total recovery...of anything and everything you have lost. Your health, your marriage, your finances, your employment, the respect of others, your respect for yourself, that child or loved one who is going astray, and yes, your relationship with Almighty God.
Whatever the enemy has stolen from you, however final it may seem, God is still God.
Joel 2:25 (KJV) says, "And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten..." Those wasted years. All of that time that now seems so lost and completely destroyed....God promises to restore back to you.
Claim His Word.
Weep until you have no power left in you to weep.
Then pursue. Go forward. Follow God. Believe Him for a full and complete recovery.
And when the victory comes, do as David did...and give God all the praise!