“So we must not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up.” Galatians 6:9
I love this verse, but the truth is, I do get tired of doing good. I’m exhausted after the twenty-seventh time my kids have whined at me and it isn’t even lunch time yet, so I respond to them harshly and impatiently. I get tired of walking in humility in my marriage and grow resentful towards my husband and snap at him when he does one more thing that seems selfish and inconsiderate. I grow slowly more irritate the person in my church community who just rubs me the wrong way, and after I’ve smiled and conversed with them in the same painfully awkward way, week after week after week, I decide I’ve earned a break and I avoid them. My flesh is waging war against my spirit, and in time I’m worn down, my defenses are weakened, and sin takes a victory lap.
David experienced this kind of spiritual exhaustion. 1 Samuel gives an account of David on the run, persecuted by Saul. Homeless and hungry, he finds himself reduced to begging for a meal because he has refused to lay a hand on Saul and so continues to live in unjust exile. In a pivotal moment of weakness, after extending mercy to Saul, David encounters Nabal, who “was harsh and evil in his dealings” (1 Samuel 25:3). Nabal refuses to share a meal with David and his men, even though “he was a very rich man” (1 Samuel 1:2). In this moment it is as though something inside of David snaps.
“All of you, put on your swords! …May God punish me and do so severely if I let any of his men survive until morning.” (1 Samuel 1:13, 22)
David had grown weary of taking the low road. It didn’t seem to be paying off. He had waited patiently, not taking matters into his own hands but obeying and trusting God to act on his behalf, and now this? He had had enough.
Enter Abigail, the wife of Nabal. The Lord used her in a very particular moment in David’s burnt-out, life on the run to strengthen his faith and remind him that He had a plan, and David’s rescue would come.
(This was originally written as a guest post, continue reading this post at Woman of Noble Character)