"David took these words to heart and greatly feared Achish, King of Gath. So he disguised his sanity before them and acted insanely in their hands and scribbled on the doors of the gates and let his saliva run down his beard." 1 Samuel 21:12-13
THE irony of it all is that the giant-slayer was now acting like a madman right within the territory of the enemy, fearing Achish, the King of Goliath, the Philistine! What an unexpected twist of fate what a frustrating change in the tide of life. Welcome to the brokenness of the giant-slayer. This painful and embarrassing process of humbling a hero is called brokenness!
Brokenness usually happens before and after a great spiritual breakthrough. In the case of David, God enrolled him in a series of Brokenness sessions. It happened before he ruled as King; then again, while ruling as Israel's King. The lesson here is clear, no one graduates from the need of being broken.
While God was doing the breaking, David now learned how to respond in a godly way—regardless of his situation. Remember, it was David who wrote in the Psalms, "A broken spirit and a contrite heart, God will not despise" Take note that bitterness can be mistaken as brokenness. God doesn't speak to people who are bitter. God speaks to the broken.
Let us revisit the scenes where David, the giant-slayer, is humbled and which reflect our need of upliftment. Scene no. 1, Brokenness through the anger of a God-rejected King: In the courts of Saul, God allowed a painful assault on David's life. Saul's anger made David see how the mighty was unreliable in times of crisis. 2. In brokenness, God allowed David to be in the territory of the envious enemy. In the camp of the enemy, David was stripped of his self-confidence. David suffered the loss of image; loses all interest; deprived of his intellect and integrity. The lesson is crystal-clear and it would do well for us to learn from it while we can. Self-confidence is arrogance; godly-confidence is desperate dependence upon God.
In brokenness, it is clear as crystal that gut-feelings end here and grace-awakening begins. In brokenness, we see that the victory of the past is not a guarantee of victory for today. In the midst of this painful and embarrassing experience, David met God! It was in this state of "madness" that David wrote his best Psalms. One of the most beautiful and truly encouraging verses which we could draw strength from is Psalm 56:3 "Whenever I am afraid, I will put my trust in You."
At the outset, no one will like brokenness... it is a painful and embarrassing thing to experience. As God allows it, let us pray for strength; and as we go through it, let us pray for silence; and as we come out from it, let us pray for surrender. In brokenness we shine; in bitterness we become sour.
Thank you for reading, I always write from my heart.
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on September 14, 2017.
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