I’m not sure what the hype was with the end of the world coming in 2012.
The “end of the world” has come in my lifetime at least 7 times already.
And yet I’m still here.
Why? Well, that’s still a mystery to me. 😉
Although you may think I’m joking, this is 100% true.
I can’t recall every time the “end of the world” came in my life, but I must say they came.
And I’m not referring to 2000 with the Y2K scare, although that was quite interesting.
No – most of my “end of the world’s” came from approximately age 12-17.
Although I can’t remember exactly why they came – I can definitely remember exactly how I felt.
My parents didn’t allow me to do things that all of my friends were doing – End of the world.
My older sister didn’t let me tag along with her to some fun event with her cool friends – End of the world.
I couldn’t participate in some school event that my parents deemed unneccesary or unimportant – End of the world.
The boy I had a crush on didn’t fall head over heels in love with me – End of the world.
Now, I might be exaggerating – a little bit.
But I remember some of those moments like they just happened yesterday.
Especially when my parents wouldn’t allow me to do things that “everyone else was doing”.
Since I couldn’t get into a car and drive far away, I did the next best thing. I would go sit in a car.
Crazy, I know.
I’d promise myself that I would never leave, at least not until I had no more tears left to cry… or until I got hungry (whichever happened to come first.)
Although irrational as it seems now – back then, the end of the world came quite often.
I would sit there in the car and think about how I just couldn’t go on anymore.
How my parents just didn’t understand me.
How I didn’t know if I would be able to face tomorrow because that day was oh so terribly bad.
So boy was I surprised when in fact I woke up the next morning.
And the morning after that.
AND the morning after that.
Obviously God didn’t get the memo that the end of the world came in my life, because apparently… it didn’t.
As silly as my examples were “end of the world” scares don’t stop when you stop being a teenager and your life isn’t dictated by your hormones, or your emotions.
No, they continue coming after you’re 20, 30, 40, 50….
And the older you are, the more serious they typically become.
Your “end of the world” may come in many different ways.
Maybe it’s when you hear the bad news from the doctor.
Maybe it’s not getting into the college you’ve always dreamed of attending.
Maybe it’s having to say good-bye to someone you love.
Maybe it’s losing your house or your job and not knowing whether you’ll have a roof to sleep under tomorrow night.
Whatever it may be, I can assure you everyone goes through these moments.
At least I know, I still have my moments.
When these moments do happen there is one place you won’t find me anymore: sitting in my car and crying about it like there is no tomorrow.
No, over the years I have learned to do a few things differently.
And who did I learn from? An important person in my life. His name is David.
And he had his own share of “end of the world” scares.
David was a warrior fighting against the fierce enemy – the Amelekites.
One particular moment took place when David and his men came upon a place called, Ziglak to find it bare and empty, destroyed by fire.
With no sign of their sons, daughters, and wives – who were taken captive by their merciless enemy.
What did they do?
They wept until they had no strength left to weep.
And to make matters worse his own men began talking about stoning him, the leader, for bringing them to such a terrible place of destruction.
A place where I’m sure none of them thought they would find themselves in.
I can only imagine what David felt at the moment.
Distressed is the word that the Bible uses.
To me personally, I would call it his “end of the world”.
The place where hope was lost and the future seemed darker with each passing moment.
Not only was David grieving for his own loss of family, but his men were placing blame on him for their own losses and defeat. If that wasn’t an “end of the world” moment for him – well I don’t know what was.
But what surprises me is what David does next.
He doesn’t run away.
He doesn’t kill himself.
He doesn’t give up.
No. He did what I call a “pep talk” in my dictionary.
What is a pep talk? It’s “an enthusiastic talk designed to increase confidence, production, cooperation…”
You hear of these often on sports teams.
A team is losing so what happens during half-time? The coach gathers all the players together and then gives them this pep talk, encourages them to keep on going, to give their best, to not give up.
Sometimes this simple pep talk can change the course of the game and drastically change the results at the end.
Why? Because the players are renewed with a new sense of confidence and strength that they may have not possessed before and this helps them give their best out on the field.
In David’s situation the surprising thing is not that a “pep talk” takes place but who exactly gives that pep talk.
Did God take David aside and encourage him personally? No.
Did one of his soldiers come up to him and motivate him to stay positive and keep on trusting God? No.
The person that encouraged David? He did (1 Samuel 30:6).
There are many lessons I have learned in life but this one is one of my favorites.
When things get tough you don’t need to wait for another person to come and say the exact words you need to hear.
You don’t need to wait for an angel to come down from heaven to lift you up.
Sometimes you have to be like David and do it yourself.
David “encouraged himself in the Lord his God” and in another translation “He strengthened himself in the Lord”.
When everything around him was falling apart, when he didn’t know if he had anyone left on his side, when he had no idea what steps to take next he turned to God and found his strength in Him.
He gave himself the “pep talk”.
He motivated himself to trust God, to keep on going, to look for the light at the end of the tunnel.
Because he knew that although it felt like the world could have ended for him that day there was a God that He believed had ultimate control of the situation and in Him he renewed his strength.
Did David die? Yes, eventually. But not on this day.
In fact – the end of this particular story is a good one. You have to read the rest of the chapter to find out what it is. 😉
Am I saying that giving yourself a little “pep talk” is going to make all of your “end of the world” situations okay?
No, that would be silly.
Encouraging yourself in God won’t change your situation.
It might not even change how you feel.
But it WILL give you the strength that you need to go on.
It’ll help you look forward to a brighter tomorrow.
It will motivate you to never give up.
It will help you find joy even in the unhappiest of circumstances.
I don’t expect the worst things to happen to me.
I don’t wish for “end of the world” situations to come into my life.
But if they do, I know exactly what I’m going to do.
I’m going to be like David.
I will find my strength in the Lord.
And I will know that everything will turn out okay.
When your world comes crashing down remember that it’s not the end yet, God is with you every step of the way and He will get you through to the other side if you just trust Him. -Anna… ♥
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”- Psalm 46:1