I am reminded of a story about my Great Grandmother.
In those days when it rained heavily at night, the next morning, the village would be full of ripe mangoes fallen on the ground from mango trees. Village folk would enthusiastically gather up the mangoes.
However, if there was lightning that accompanied the night’s rain, none of the village folk would dare to touch those mangoes as they believed that those mangoes were forbidden and bad for health. No one dared to take a chance with their health.
My Great Grandmother thought differently!
She could not bear to stand by and see so many seasonal mangoes going waste, and anyways the story of the lightning struck mangoes being bad for health was not a proven fact, the myth had got passed on among the gullible villagers. My Great Grandmother would bravely pick the juicy sweet mangoes and relish them.
She went on to live a healthy life and lived to cross more than a hundred years!
This might sound like a simple narrative, but the point I am trying to make is that blessings may not always come looking like blessings.
Testimonies of healing, financial breakthroughs and most other blessings, they don’t always come in a nicely gift wrapped package.
I wonder what David was going through when he wrote ‘You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies’
He is talking about enemies and that’s anything but pleasant and can be synonymous with anxiety, fear, lack of peace, uncertainty, battle and more.
From taking care of sheep to working for King Saul, and going on to become the King, David faced battles. In fact, David’s victories were woven around battles.
Those enemies, those battles, those tough situations got David thinking differently. He learnt to seek God passionately, unlike many others, until God gave him the strategy to face his challenges. Each time an enemy tried to pull David down, David sought God’s guidance to overcome that enemy.
One pattern emerged through David’s challenges.
David sought God.
God gave instructions.
David obeyed the instructions.
David won the battle.
Each battle showcased the beauty of David’s confidence, boldness and faith.
Sometimes, the best blessings can be found in poor, tattered packaging.
A whole nation was in fear when Goliath showed up with his threats. The way the situation appeared, it didn’t look like it was going to unfold a great blessing to the nation and personally to David.
But David knew his shepherd.
What about the story of Ziklag in 1st Samuel chapter 30?
The story speaks of the Amalekites attacking Ziklag and burning it down.
They captured the wives and children of all of David’s men as well as David’s wives and children. The situation looked so hopeless that they cried until they had no more strength to cry.
To make things worse, David’s own men blamed him and wanted to kill him.
Up until this point, nothing about the story demonstrates that there was a historic victory waiting to be recorded in the Bible for all eternity.
David did the exact same thing he did when times were good. He humbled himself, honoured God and sought God’s guidance.
It was God’s word that restored his strength back.
David and his men found an Egyptian refugee who revealed the location of the people who attacked ziklag, that was enough proof that God was with David
David pursued the enemy that plundered Ziklag.
David and his men fought vigorously with the hand of God upon them.
David recovered all that the Amalekites had captured.
David won a great victory.
That is an amazing story of God’s favour.
We have just entered the last quarter of 2020!
After months of lock down, in many parts of the world, including my city, things are beginning to open up. Of course things may not be getting back on track with a boom. There is still anxiety and uncertainty.
Through it all, we have the assurance that the Lord Jesus is our Shepherd.
A great king like David testified about the great Shepherd setting a feast before him even in the midst of his enemies. And that’s how we too can move forward, like David did – trusting in our Shepherd, feasting on His provision, relying on His protection, even in the middle of our challenges.
Its about time to believe for a change. Its about time for some laughter and fun. Its about time to believe differently.
I have in my hand the promise I received at last year’s cross over service. Its about time to walk by faith.
Blessings can come in tattered packaging.
Are you ready to receive yours?
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies