Are you prepared?

Dear Friends:
I am still reading I Samuel each morning about David and King Saul. It’s always surprising to see what I come to understand in the Bible this year that I never picked up in college or graduate school! After reading the Bible more than 60 times, I seem to be learning and understanding more this year than ever before. Life’s situations seems to provide a better “sound track” to appreciate the narrative of the Bible. 
But today I read that David was still hiding from Saul, who was still trying to kill him for godless reasons. David was running for his very life and was hiding in caves, living away from his wife and children and having to live & exist as a hunted animal. He also carried the burden of knowing that many innocent people had been executed because they innocently offered help to David. I read a Psalm today that David wrote while he was hiding in one of those caves. It was a Psalm where he begs for God to rescue him from the jaws of death and to show him where he had erred! And it occurred to me: when he wrote that Psalm he had NO IDEA how things would work out! He merely trusted that God would see him through the storm-whatever it took!
I suppose that any man of God that chooses to follow God will suffer, and perhaps at times to even feel abandoned by God, but it appears also quite true that if a man (or woman) is truly obedient to the call of God that others will also suffer because of his or her allegiance to God.  And that’s the rub. I am prepared to suffer for God, but am I willing that OTHERS suffer because of my dedication to God?
If I look FIRST for God’s Kingdom, I am promised an abundant life. But the harvest of abundance does not come all at once. It took David years to come to appreciate the full measure of God’s blessing. Working for the King of Kings is not for the wimps——or the impatient.
Dean Barley

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