Echoes From the Campfire

The first he learned was to do his part.  Nobody had any use for a shirker or a lay-around…it just made more work for the others, and such a one became almighty unwelcome awful fast.  On the other hand, nobody asked who you were or where you came from, only that you stood up when there was something to be done.”
              –Louis L’Amour  (Ride the Dark Trail)

    “That you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you.”
              –1 Thessalonians 4:11 (NKJV)
Welcome to March my friend.  This is the month of “wind,” have you battened down the hatches of your life?  David was a person who faced much in his life.  He was a shepherd, warrior, and king, but he also had moments of despair.  The winds blew fiercely on his house.  He faced moments of despair and several times in his life he was betrayed.  In this portion of Psalm 35 David is in despair, ready to be devoured by all those around him.  He is put on trial for things he did not even know he did; they laughed with glee when he stumbled.

    11 – Malicious witnesses come forward; they question me about things I do not know.
    12 – They repay me evil for good, making me desolate.
    13 – Yet when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth; I humbled myself with fasting,
and my prayer was genuine.
    14 – I went about grieving as if for my friend or brother; I was bowed down with grief,
like one mourning a mother.
    15 – But when I stumbled, they gathered in glee; they gathered against me.  Assailants I did not know tore at me and did not stop.
    16 – With godless mockery they gnashed their teeth at me.
    17 – Lord, how long will You look on?  Rescue my life from their ravages, my only one from the young lions.
    18 – I will praise You in the great congregation; I will exalt You among many people.

Yet…!  In all the accusations, in all who gathered against him, when they mocked and ridiculed him, David continued to praise the Lord.  All seemed to be against him, but David went to the Lord.
    That is important for us to remember.  What do you do when people have wronged you?  First, you go to the Lord.  Second, tell Him your true feelings.  Sure He knows them already, but sit down and talk with Him about what you are feeling, what you think is happening.  Third, don’t tell Him how to beat your enemies up.  That is so tempting, but David leaves the matter in God’s hands.

           “Discouraged in the work of life,
            Disheartened by its load,
            Shamed by its failures or its fears,
            I sink beside the road.
            But let me only think of Thee
            And then new heart springs up in me.”
                    –Samuel Longfellow