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The Witness of Suffering

David. What a magnetic person he must have been. And the influence of his life goes on and on. He’s influenced my life. And yet, the years between us are many and the comparisons few. . . .

David was a powerful king.

I’ll never be a political figure. One good reason is that I’m too old, but I wouldn’t head down that street even if I were young again. I’m too sensitive, and I’m not aggressive enough. I wouldn’t mind meeting the baby-kissing requirement, but I have no desire to take on the problems of a nation.

David was a mighty, fearless warrior.

I could never go into a battle or map out strategic battle plans. I have real difficulty with maps. Oh yes, I’ve been a “self-appointed” and chosen leader most of my life, but I suffer from an incurable disease diagnosed as “basic terror.” I’m just not cut out to be a warrior.

David was a musician.

I’ve always said that God knew exactly what He was doing when He didn’t give me a lovely voice or supple fingers that could slide skillfully over the strings of a guitar or master the coordination of trumpet valves. So far, David and I don’t have a great deal in common.

David wrote lyrics for his music. He was a poet.

I can write jingles and quickies and the occasional poem with deep thoughts and unusual meter, but that too is an area where my skill falls far short of David’s.

David was a man who suffered greatly.

Well, we’ve finally found some common ground, something that happens in my world. I’m very well acquainted with suffering, with troubles and pain. (Are you?)

There’s only one thing that opens the door for me to say, “David, I relate to you.” The mighty kingdom and the noteworthy battles are all history–ancient history. The kingdom toppled and the battles had to be fought again. And no doubt David is singing his songs and playing a harp now, but I’ll probably be an expert musician, too, when I get to Heaven. I’ll challenge him for first chair in the orchestra!

But none of those things matter. David did one thing that immortalized him: David kept a record of his suffering–he wrote many of the Psalms. How many millions of people have read his words, immersed in similar anxieties and pain, and gathered strength to face their world?

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.
Psalm 23:1

When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Thy consolations delight my soul.
Psalm 94:19

It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.
Psalm 18:32 niv

If David had not suffered, would he have written the Psalms?

Lord, may the suffering that comes into my life be a beacon light to those who know me, those who stand behind the scenes and watch. To attempt to impress others with my talents and achievements is a futile, worthless undertaking. Those things vanish like the early morning fog. But to share with others my knowledge of God so they can relate and then stand tall and know that God is their strength–yes, Lord, I want to do what David did. And even as I say that, I know I’m opening the door for suffering. I’ll make it, though. David and I relate there, too. I’ve learned that You are my strength.

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped.
Psalm 28:7

About the Author

Anabel spent decades teaching in many contexts through Lifetime Guarantee Ministries. She has taught countless others how to have a genuine intimate faith and a sound marriage. She shared from her heart about living from the heart. Lifetime’s beloved founder and mentor passed away November 7, 2010. Her legacy and influence are timeless and priceless.