FINALLY. The semester is over, we can breathe, and we’re away from all things that give us stress.
Or are we?
Throughout the semester, we studied the life of David through the writings of Samuel. We heard the good, bad, and ugly – stories of developing valuable friendships, giving in to temptations, and covering up mistakes with lies and desperate attempts to save face.
We tend to go through life thinking that if we just pass this one thing, everything else will be smooth sailing. Just reach the next checkpoint, the next difficult task. Or if we can cover up that one thing, all will be fine! But this isn’t how life works. We are guaranteed to face more and more challenges and consequences for our actions until we leave Earth.
But this shouldn’t be discouraging.
This would be discouraging if we didn’t have a Savior. But since Jesus has given himself to each of us as a gift, we are armed with more than we could ever ask for. Consider this: we cannot hide from our problems, as much as we think we can. God lays things on our hearts that we never expect him to. We cannot grow without addressing things that we struggle with. David learned this the hard way when he tried to cover up his adultery by getting Uriah to come home and sleep with his wife so it would seem that Bathsheba’s pregnancy was because of her husband, Uriah.
David gets through his life by being vulnerable and singing God’s praises.
Psalm 34 – I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together! I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.
On surface level, this Psalm may seem (among others) that it was exclaimed when everything was going well. David’s life was broken, just like all of ours, but if we are real with ourselves and our Savior, we have all the tools we need to embrace our failures instead of hiding from them.
Another important thing to remember is that being vulnerable does not just involve being real with those around you – it involves being real with yourself, too. As said in Lamentations 3:40, “Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the Lord!”
David’s struggle was raw and his story was human. He was nowhere near perfect, as none of us are expected to be. The most stimulating part of David’s story was not the list of his wrongdoings, but his reliance on God in all situations. This is how we show resilience. Consider the role Jesus can play in your lives as you reflect on your semester and go into the new year, embracing your own humanity and loving others fully as a direct result. Here’s to a refreshing start to 2018 with Jesus right by our sides.
Haley Welch, Impact Student President