This year has been “interesting” so far to say the least. My wife got a diagnosis of breast cancer, her second in the same breast, and most of our year has been consumed with the fight against this cancer. We have dealt with delays, chemotherapy, and surgery. We have been blessed with the love and support of friends, great doctors, and family throughout the battle. Overseeing all of this battle though, has been the hand of the Lord. We have felt His comforting presence in the lowest emotional valleys; we have experienced His joy during times of great news. He has revealed Himself to us through friends, family, and doctors. The great results we have experienced ultimately are due to His presence, His love, and His grace.
David went through many difficulties in his life. He had a mighty army to protect him. He was wise and resourceful himself. He was a great warrior, and also a man of compassion. Still, he was obedient to the Lord. When he had opportunity to take the kingship to which he had been anointed by killing Saul, he refrained, lest he lift his hand against one who had been anointed by God. He recognized God’s presence and protection in His life, and always wanted to do things in God’s timing. When he could have boasted of his own greatness, he wanted others to know that God was the one who did the work. “Help me, Lord my God; save me according to your unfailing love. Let them know that it is your hand, that you, Lord, have done it.” (Psalm 109:26-27)
How easy it is to leave God out of the picture when things are going well. We get so wrapped up in the good things happening that we begin to think that it’s all due to our own cleverness or hard work. The minute things change and something goes wrong, we look to God and wonder why. We immediately want to blame God. David’s example was to recognize God’s hand in everything, especially the good things. For most of us, our ego gets in the way. We forget that it was God who gave us the abilities. It was God who gave us the strength to do the hard work. It was God who helped us develop those relationships. God has given all of us different gifts and strength. When we use those gifts and strengths and are “successful” in life, we need to remember to honor God. Ultimately, it all comes back to Him.
The question needs to be raised about those who are not “successful” in life. Why did God “forget” them. For the first part of that question I would say that many did not take advantage of the gifts and strengths that God gave them. Troubles came and rather than depending on God, they depended on themselves and things spiraled downward. For others I would say that maybe we need to rethink the definition of success. Who is more successful? The CEO of a company who got there clawing and scratching, and stepping on others on the way up; who has two or three failed marriages and kids he doesn’t really know or a simple family man who is barely making it financially but has a loving family around him. Too often we define success in financial terms. God defines success in terms of relationship: relationship with Him and with others. As you look at your own life would you define yourself as a self-made person, or would you give glory to God by recognizing His hand in your life through the ages?
Lord God, I do recognize that You are the one who did the work in this battle we have had against cancer. I praise You for the results so far and I pray for continued good results. I pray for Your people in this world. Help us to be successful in Your eyes. Help us model that success to a world that would exchange a good relationship with You for mere financial success.