The Lord promised David the shepherd boy that he would be king of Israel. David may have had a hard time believing this while he hid from King Saul in a cave in the Judean wilderness.
Saul pursued David with a lethal envy brought on by David’s popularity among the people. He also knew of God’s royal promise to David. Saul disdained the idea of David being King. He wanted him dead.
When David hid out in the wilderness he may have thought, King? How will I ever be King? I have nothing as I am persecuted in the wilderness. During this time he wrote the following in Psalm 142,
“I cried out to You, O LORD;
I said, ‘You are my refuge,
My portion in the land of the living.’
“Give heed to my cry,
For I am brought very low;
Deliver me from my persecutors,
For they are too strong for me.” (Psalm 142:5-6).
Nothing Left, but God
David’s forced exile in the wilderness stripped him of all that he had. The promise of a kingdom may have felt like a lost hope. The exile left him with nothing but God. That is a beautiful place to be.
Just as a black and white photographer strips an image of all its color and vibrancy, sometimes God strips us of all we have learned to lean on. Upon a first glance at a black and white photo one may think something is missing. But as one reflects deeper, the true beauty of the forms and subtle tones begin to stand out. Even without color a black and white photo still holds on to beauty when left with just the forms and tones, and in our lives when we are left with nothing but God there is still beauty.
To suffer for suffering sake is not necessarily beautiful, but these can be special times where we learn to draw close to God. We can experience Him in a pure, refreshing way. As we draw close to God, He works in our character developing the beauty in us.
When David lived in caves in the wilderness, God developed the character he would need to be king. Today, God develops our character when we spend time in the caves of our lives. It is during these black and white seasons of life that God makes his followers ready for the plans He has for them.