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Handle shakeouts well

As we plod along through life, most of the time everything is calm and orderly. But every so often, everything goes haywire, and terrible things happen, for no fathomable reason at all. It is as if a tornado strikes, wreaks incalculable havoc in a matter of hours, and then disappears. In the aftermath, we are left stunned and unable to make sense of things.

I call these things shakeouts. They shake us up and test us to almost beyond what we can bear.

Such shakeouts happen every so often. And the question is: how does one handle them?

We read of such a shakeout happening to David in 1 Sam 30. While he was away from his home base in Ziklag, Amalekites came and burned the city down and took everything, including the wives and children. It didn’t happen as punishment or discipline for anything – it just happened, and the Bible doesn’t say why.

1 Sam 30:4-6 4 Then David and the people who were with him lifted their voices and wept until there was no strength in them to weep. 5 Now David's two wives had been taken captive, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite. 6 Moreover David was greatly distressed because the people spoke of stoning him, for all the people were embittered, each one because of his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.

It was a time of weeping and distress. But here is where we see David shine through – he strengthened himself in the Lord his God. That is, he told himself that all was not lost and that God would still fix things if He so desired, and if He didn’t desire it then it must be for good and that would be okay too.

When you see a shakeout happening in your life, and everything falling apart, hold on tight and don’t make any rash decisions (like taking your own life). Instead, strengthen yourself in the Lord.

Then David did another wonderful thing – he consulted with God on how to deal with the situation.

1 Sam 30:7-8 7 Then David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelech, "Please bring me the ephod." So Abiathar brought the ephod to David. 8 David inquired of the LORD, saying, "Shall I pursue this band? Shall I overtake them?" And He said to him, "Pursue, for you will surely overtake them, and you will surely rescue all."

That was when God told David to get it all back. And as we read further, we see that David did recover everything back, and much more.

Then David did another wonderful thing: he shared all the extra stuff with others – with some who helped him in part, and with some who helped him in the past.

A similar situation happened to Job, and because he knew God he too was able to keep the faith.

Just like God tested David and Job in these situations, He might test you too. Be prepared to lose everything, and also be prepared to gain it all back if the Lord allows it. And learn to strengthen yourself in the Lord.

Copyright (c) 2007-2026, Rosario (Ross) D'Souza. All Rights Reserved
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