More From Mary Charles

May 17, 2023 by Mary Charles (Nairobi City, Kenya)

In 1 Samuel 30, we read about how David handled a big problem. He had returned to the town given to him by the Philistines, Ziklag, only to find that the Amalekites had invaded the city, destroying it and kidnapping the women and children. His two wives, Ahinoam and Abigail, had been taken captive. David and his army were greatly distressed. 

Faced with the tragedy of losing their families, David’s soldiers began to turn against him and even talked about killing him. Instead of planning a rescue, they looked for someone to blame. David and his army wept much, yet they recovered nothing. However, David found his strength in God and began to look for a way forward instead of a scapegoat. David decided to ask the LORD what his next step should be. He reminded himself of God’s mercy and faithfulness and sought God’s face. 

Reading this, I think of Psalm 46:1, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (NIV). And in 1 Samuel 30:8, when David inquired of the LORD what he should do, the LORD told David to take his army and pursue their enemies, for they would overtake them and recover all that had been lost. David and his army listened to the LORD, and they eventually recovered all that had been taken from them. 

I can relate to David’s need to seek God’s guidance in 1 Samuel 30 because I have had to do the same in my life. My fiancé tested HIV positive only two weeks before our wedding day. We called off the wedding. Everybody turned against me, including church members. They claimed that I, too, was infected. They called me a hypocrite and avoided me. Only two people who stood with me: my mom and my pastor. 

I wished the world could open and swallow me alive. I thought of ending my life, but the word of God warned me against it. I thought of fleeing from my people to a new, unknown residence, but my pastor warned me against that too. Tears became my daily food for a whole week. However, God ministered to me through scripture that God would never leave me and that God laid great things ahead of me. I felt revived. 

I recollected my remaining strength and started afresh with God. I became more committed to church than I was before. God healed my wounds. And a year later, I was blessed with a God-fearing man. We had a colorful church wedding in 2015, and I now have three wonderful kids — Victor (6 years old), Glory (4 years old), and Promise (1.5 years old). 

When faced with challenges, it is useless to look for someone to blame or criticize. Wallowing in loss, self-pity, and regrets also does not help us. A better choice is to start considering possible solutions. When we experience challenges, the best things we can do are to seek God, to become strong in spirit, and to address our life’s issues head on.

My advice for anyone going through difficult times is this: Take scripture to heart and apply God’s teachings to the situation. When we face challenges with confidence and courage, clinging to the holy scriptures, we will overcome. Take Jesus’ life as an example! Remain connected to God. If one door closes, God will open a better one for you. “Weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning” (Ps. 30:5).

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The Upper Room magazine's mission is to provide a practical way to listen to scripture, connect with believers around the world, and spend time with God each day.

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