Playing Through the Pain: Deflated

Day 1 of 3 • This day’s reading


Do you ever feel like you can’t catch a break?

Have you ever wondered when life was going to get easier? 

Or have you ever dreamed of the moment when you might feel like you have finally arrived?

I know I have. This is one of the reasons that I connect on so many levels with the story of King David from the Bible.

We can look into David’s life and see that many times it seems like he has finally made it, only to experience another setback.

The truth is that setbacks come in all shapes and sizes. They are inevitable for the rich, the poor, the talented, and everyone in between.

In sports, I have always been the best at everything. As a top recruit at the University of Oklahoma and drafted in the first round of the NFL, being first was both familiar and comfortable to me. I was close to God when life was good, but drifted away when things didn’t go the way that I wanted. Setbacks have been a part of my life.

Think back over David's life with me: 

The Prophet Samuel interrupts David’s young life as a shepherd and under the leadership of God selects him from his seven brothers to anoint him as king. Then David goes back to the field to watch sheep again.

King Saul recruits David to come to the palace because of his exceptional musical ability. King Saul's mind is plagued with worry and stress, so he asks David to play him a soothing melody. Then David is sent back to the field to watch sheep again.

Over and over it must have seemed to David like God was finally moving him into the higher calling to which he knew he had been called. But it was like his purpose remained elusively behind a door that he could not yet open.

Have you ever felt like that?

In the next part of the story, Jesse calls David and asks him to take food to his brothers, who are serving as soldiers in the Valley of Elah. King Saul's army had camped out there and was preparing to fight against the mighty Philistine enemy. Again, just like all the other times, David rises to the occasion. He is the only Israelite willing to fight against the Champion from Gath, who we know as Goliath. 

Finally, David is victorious, and as a result the door that David has been waiting for opens. But it comes at a cost, requiring a death in order for life to come forth.

The open door brings with it the end of David’s days with sheep. His time at home is over, his boyhood gone forever, and no more will he be known as a mere commoner. 

Death comes to every seed, before germination. It comes to every human before he or she is born again into the Kingdom of God. 

What needs to die, in order for your purpose to live in its fullest measure?