Lifelong Struggles 

This is a blog of hope for someone who feels stuck with a lifelong challenge. God see’s you and is looking to show you kindness. There’s a story in the Bible (See 2 Samuel 9 below) that gives us hope when we feel we have been trapped, stuck, or ‘crippled’ our whole life, and this seems to be it for us.

What have you struggled with your whole life? What is the limitation you have come to accept? Unworthiness? A crippling lack of confidence? Constricting insecurity? Blinding fear? Binding shame? Inadequacy? Low self-esteem? An overwhelming need to be accepted? A worry about what others think? The impact of actions or abuse from others? The lasting and stinging damage of someone’s words? In this Bible account Mephibosheth was crippled in both feet. He was dropped as a baby and had a lifelong disability. This was no fault of his own but he lived with the consequences. As a relative of king Saul, he lived hiding his true identity when David came to power. He described himself as a ‘dead dog’, worse than worthless. He lived his whole life rejected and in hiding. He lived dependent on others. He lived in a place with no pasture, no fruit, no income, lacking food, poverty (the town of Lo Debar). He stayed in the house of Machir or (‘sold’). Maybe he lived feeling sold-out or lived in the past or past-tense (sold), lacking a hope for the future (to sell), maybe he lived with regret of lost dreams, what could have been – ‘I could have had it all’. The King asks – to whom can I show kindness from the house of Saul? King David set about restoring all that was lost for Mephibosheth:

  • Land and assets – farms – produce – pastures
  • Authority and title – ‘Lord of the Manor’
  • Staff and servants – honour and position
  • Wealth and provisions – assets, equity and farm income
  • Acceptance and sonship – Acceptance by servants and son of the king
  • Value, significance and honour – Seated daily at the kings table
  • Location – moved to Jerusalem the ‘place of peace’ which is the seat of power.  Now in the house of ‘beloved friend’ (David)
  • Access and proximity – to the king and his officials – now with the ‘in crowd’
  • Hope – expectation restored for the future

The scripture describes this blessing coming to Mephibosheth even while he was lost. God can relocate and restore you even while you remain ‘crippled’ with a life-long challenge. This is the good news of salvation. It is also a picture of our humanity. You may have what seems a lifelong vulnerability to insecurity, be susceptible to others’ opinions, have a tender point around rejection, control, addiction – however this does not have to permanently define us or locate us. The King of Kings, Jesus, has a heart for you today. To show you kindness, to restore that which was lost – even if lost or injured by no fault of your own. Yes, the weakness, tenderness, disability, ‘crippledness’ may even remain but restoration can happen – from ‘Dead Dog’ to ‘Son of the King’. Yes, God can and does bring healing, restoration and renewal. He is in the business of miracles. We should pursue this. God also works all things together for good even if we continue to walk with a limp. There are times when he blesses and restores our situation while leaving the weakness in place.

This is how the Apostle Paul summed up this in his life: 2 Corinthians 12:8-10 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take [my thorn of weakness] away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Prayer: Thank you Lord for making me, me. Thank you Lord for my life – the good, the bad and the ugly. Thank you God that you work all things together for good. Lord – in my weaknesses would your power be made perfect. Pour more of your grace into my life, show me your kindness as King and restore the areas lost. Thank you Lord that you make all things beautiful in your timing. Amen

2 Samuel 9:1-13

Now David said, “Is there still anyone who is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” And there was a servant of the house of Saul whose name was Ziba. So when they had called him to David, the king said to him, “Are you Ziba?” He said, “At your service!” Then the king said, “Is there not still someone of the house of Saul, to whom I may show the kindness of God?” And Ziba said to the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan who is lame in his feet.” So the king said to him, “Where is he?” And Ziba said to the king, “Indeed he is in the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, in Lo Debar.” Then King David sent and brought him out of the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, from Lo Debar. Now when Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, had come to David, he fell on his face and prostrated himself. Then David said, “Mephibosheth?” And he answered, “Here is your servant!” So David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan your father’s sake, and will restore to you all the land of Saul your grandfather; and you shall eat bread at my table continually.” Then he bowed himself, and said, “What is your servant, that you should look upon such a dead dog as I?” And the king called to Ziba, Saul’s servant, and said to him, “I have given to your master’s son all that belonged to Saul and to all his house. You therefore, and your sons and your servants, shall work the land for him, and you shall bring in the harvest, that your master’s son may have food to eat. But Mephibosheth your master’s son shall eat bread at my table always.” Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants. Then Ziba said to the king, “According to all that my lord the king has commanded his servant, so will your servant do.” “As for Mephibosheth,” said the king, “he shall eat at my table like one of the king’s sons.” Mephibosheth had a young son whose name was Micha. And all who dwelt in the house of Ziba were servants of Mephibosheth. So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem, for he ate continually at the king’s table. And he was lame in both his feet.

Steve Clark
Business Pastor

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