As summer approaches and the weather, schedules, temperaments, and life circumstances shift, I feel that this summer is not one of relaxation, but one of hard work – the kind of work that causes one to perspire and release toxins and dead weight.
There’s a shift taking place in my heart and mind where I seek to have clarity like never before. As my 35th birthday approached on June 1st, I found myself reflecting over my life a little more than usual, because I am in essence a reflective person.
However, in the past my reflections were always on how I could get ahead in life, how I could trample some aspects of my life that I was born into, and how I could annihilate the circumstances I landed into because of unwise decisions.
But today, my reflections are different and will require more than thought, self-pity or a superficial plan on how I can look good on paper or earn more money. I’m not saying those things are bad, but the accumulation of accolades and money will have little worth when you’re broken inside – when you’re carrying burdens and dead weight.
In this moment, I think of David, his father Jesse, and the Prophet Samuel. When David became King, he probably reflected on his life a time or two. I’m sure the thought of the prophet Samuel arriving to town many years ago seeking to anoint the next King of Israel crossed his mind.
Samuel didn’t know which of Jesse’s sons he came to anoint because that’s just how God operates. He will send us on a mission with little information, but we are confident in faith that as we move in obedience, the Holy Spirit will reveal our next step.
So, here is Samuel feasting with Jesse and his sons, but someone is missing from the table. That someone was David. In Jesse’s eyes David didn’t possess the worth he believed his other son’s carried. David knew he should be at that table but instead he watched the festivities from the field.
The Holy Spirit revealed to Samuel that someone was missing, therefore, Samuel asked Jesse, “Do you not have another son?” In David’s father’s eyes, David was an afterthought.
David was then brought into the feast, confirmed by the Holy Spirit and anointed King by Samuel.
In reflecting on this, I bet David wished he could forget that day, but being who David was he knew the importance of not forgetting past hurts but shedding them and leaving them behind, just as a reptile sheds its skin and leaves it behind.
A reptile will never go back and try to fit into a mold that he has outgrown; yet we as humans do this all the time. We put in the hard work, the grind, to rid ourselves of the dead weight in the same way a reptile would grind against the rock to shed his dead skin; yet many times we turn back.
If David held on to what happened at that feast, I don’t believe he would have pursued his kingship with the honor and patience that he did, nor would he have gone down in history as being the greatest king of Israel.
David released the dead weight.
In this moment, I think of David and Bathsheba. David impregnated Bathsheba and sent her husband to the front lines of battle to be killed in order for him to have Bathsheba for himself (2 Samuel 11: 1-27).
Earlier, David had to shed some disheartening beliefs about himself that he was born into, now he needed to shed the dead weight of poor choices.
So, Bathsheba gives birth to a baby boy and after some time he falls ill. David goes into fasting, fervent prayer, and supplication for 6 days. On the 7th day, David senses the child has passed and he gets up, eats, and carries on with life (2 Samuel 12: 13-23).
He carries on with life in a way in which he accepts the dishonor and guilt of his actions but sheds the dead weight. He no longer mourns, he doesn’t hide himself from Bathsheba, and he doesn’t lose sight that he’s running a kingdom.
David then produces another seed with Bathsheba, whom we know as Solomon, the wisest and richest king to ever walk the earth. The greatest gift of all is that David, Bathsheba, and Solomon are in the lineage of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ (2 Samuel 12: 24-25).
In this moment, as I reflect on David’s life and on my life, I see some parallels. Perhaps you see some parallels in your life as well.
Like David, I was born into some mess, but unlike David, I’ve allowed the mess to hold me back in some areas of my life. Like David, I’ve made some unwise choices, but unlike David, I’ve allowed the unwise choices to hold me back in some areas of my life.
However, in this season, I will allow God to direct me in how I must shed those dead weights that keep me from building relationships, loving with my whole heart, and expecting the best life has to offer.
Make the decision with me today to shed the dead weights in your life but promise me and God that once you shed that old skin, you will refuse to go back and try to fit into a mold that you have outgrown!