WHEN THE LIGHTS GO OUT Andy Hollifield 1-18-19
Psalms 18:28 For thou wilt light my candle: the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness. (KJV)
What a sad but yet joyful picture the Psalmist paints for us in chapter 18. It is sad because of what he has been through and endured but joyful because God has preserved and delivered him again. To really appreciate this entire chapter, you have to know a little bit about where David has been. In verse four he said, “The sorrows of death compassed me about: and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid.” Verse five is the same thing except he say “the sorrows of hell” and “the snares of death.” Verse six however holds the key to surviving those times. It reads “In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even unto his ears.” Aren’t you glad that in the midst of your distress, God will hear your cry?
Think about David’s life for a minute. As a young boy, the prophet Samuel came to his home and anointed him to be king in place of Saul. It seemed to be pretty much downhill from that day. When he went to the battlefield to see his brothers, they got mad at him. When he told Saul he would fight Goliath, Saul doubted him. As he crossed the brook, Goliath made fun of him and his God. Then came a bright spot when he actually slew the giant. Then the military parade into town and it seemed like things were looking up for him. He had already been promised the king’s daughter to be his wife. Everybody is singing his praises as he comes back from the battle. He got a job on the kings cabinet as his harpist. He was adored by everyone as a new national hero; well, almost everyone. If he thought all of the mouthing and making fun of him was bad; he hadn’t seen anything yet. The greater David’s acceptance by the people, the more jealous Saul became. Saul tried to kill David with a javelin three or four times. He pursued David relentlessly and could have killed him and David had to be on the run. Even after he ascended to the throne his problems continued. While neglecting his duty he got involved in the affair with Bathsheba, conspired to commit the murder of her husband, and ultimately was the cause of the death of their baby. He had rape and incest occur in his own family and the Lord told him the sword would never depart from his house. He experienced the hatred of a son and the loss of at least one. When he returned to his home in Ziklag at one point, he was grieved to see that everyone’s family had been taken prisoner. Then, his men even spoke of turning on him and killing him because of the loss of their families. Things were so bad that he had to encourage himself because no one else would or could. He and his men eventually recovered their families.
David’s life was anything but a walk in the park. Distress is kind of an understatement in my opinion. He suffered through some dark days and nights. Probably, with the exception of his return to Ziklag and finding their families gone, David was probably a picture of confidence among his men. But if we could have seen him when the lights went out, it would have at times been a different story. He was even longing for a drink from the well at Jerusalem one night while off in battle away from his family. That is what it was like for David when the lights went out. I am sure there were times when he was laying in a cave somewhere or on the top of a mountain, that he just broke down and cried because of all of the struggles of life. He was God’s man but he was also as human as you and I. He couldn’t show his fear, loneliness, and homesickness, because that would have likely destroyed the confidence of his men. I am sure there were times on those cold lonely nights, that being at home would have been a dream come true for him.
I said all of that to say this; you never know what someone else is going through. I have gone through a situation where you couldn’t get any peace anyway you turned. When the lights go out you lay on your bed and sob because your burden is so heavy. You think no one has ever had the hurt and loneliness that you do and it seems that no one can understand. You get so low that you can’t hardly pray for yourself or anyone else. Have you ever been there? You have hidden it so well that even family and friends can’t tell that anything is wrong.
The reason I make such a point as that is because we never know what road the person in front of us has been going through. That kind word that you thought about saying but didn’t. You will never know what it might have meant to that person. They may have cried themselves to sleep last night when they finally got to sleep. It would pay us to follow the example of Jesus and be kind to everyone we meet. You never know what kind of world that person may be living in at home. We need to be in the business to lift up and not run down. You just don’t know what they are going through when the smile comes off and the lights go out. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!