Saul replied, “But I’m only from the tribe of Benjamin, the smallest tribe in Israel, and my family is the least important of all the families of that tribe! I Samuel 9:21
My middle brother is a weight lifter. Not a professional. Just a regular lifter of lead. Initially, he lifted weights to boost his self-image. When younger, he was skinny. I suppose he grew tired of being picked on and decided to take action. When he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, he was even more determined to heft the heavies. His upper body strength and build are impressive. Weight lifting is the source of his strength.
When the prophet Samuel anointed Saul as the first king of Israel, Saul was amazed, fearful, and skeptical. He was from the smallest of Israel’s twelve tribes. That wasn’t a problem—unless he relied on his strength rather than God’s.
Loneliness is a canker. Adam experienced it as the first human. After naming all the animals God created, he found none to serve as a companion. He was lonely among a crowd. God pronounced loneliness a bad thing and created Eve for Adam. Yet the most important relationship Adam and Eve had was not with each other but with God. They walked with him in the cool of the evenings.
Relationships are essential if I’m to enjoy a full life. My most important relationship should be identical to Adam and Eve’s—with God. While relationships with family, fellow believers, work acquaintances, and casual friends are enjoyable—and even essential for good health and self-image, if I neglect the one with God I’ll find myself alone. In the midst of others, I’ll sense a void in my spirit…a void only my Creator and Savior can fill.
Saul’s strength came from relying on the Lord. While the presence of others enhance and bring stability to my existence, only communion with and reliance on the Spirit’s presence in my life will give me the needed muscle to face life and God’s assignments. Where are you finding your strength?
Prayer: God of all power, may we find our strength and peace in a daily walk with You.
(Photo courtesy of morguefile and dmscs.)