“Tag! You’re It!”

Read: 1 Samuel 23:1-14

David remained in the strongholds in the wilderness, in the hill country of the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him every day, but God did not give him into his hand. (v. 14)

One of the greatest childhood games is tag. Look at the playgrounds, the empty lots, the backyards everywhere, and you will see endless racing and chasing. But the fun only lasts until you get a stitch in your side, you’re winded, and you’re still being chased. Then it’s no longer a game but painful exhaustion.

A lengthy portion of 1 Samuel seems like an extended game of chase, but it’s the painful, exhausted sort. In chapter 19, David fled the danger of Saul’s household (despite his best friend and wife both living there). He became “it,” living in the wilderness in an endless round of tag. Every day Saul attempted to catch David. And every day must have contained a good deal of misery for David and his men, haunted by feelings of fear, rejection, loneliness, and fatigue. The only grace for David—and it was everything—is that God remained with him.

Many of us face long wilderness battles filled with fears, rejection, loneliness, and fatigue. In those battles, cling to the knowledge that God stays with you. Later in life, David encouraged Solomon, who would build God’s temple saying, “Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed, for the LORD God, even my God, is with you” (1 Chron. 28:20). David offered this good word out of his own true experience.

As you pray, ask that you might know God’s constant presence.

About the Author

Katy Sundararajan is a specialized minister in the Reformed Church in America. She has garnered her pastoral perspectives from posts as a college chaplain, a missionary, an international student advisor, and a higher education and leadership ministries program coordinator.

This entry is part 23 of 31 in the series 1 Samuel: Trusting God through Big Transitions