We all love the stories where someone shows remarkable courage and the faith to never give up. Their faith is rewarded at the last possible second. Most movies and television dramas try to keep us on the edge of our seats, believing all hope is lost. Until a miraculous cure is found for a disease with only moments to spare and we watch the little girls eyes open wide just before the next commercial break with tears streaming down our cheeks and a lump in our throat.
What about the heroic stories of superhuman feats and God’s perfect timing when a child is rescued from drowning as he slowly sinks beneath the surface by a heroic lifeguard with wavy blonde hair, bronze skin and six-pack abs. It truly is a wonderful life. Yeah, never give up and you will get everything you ever wanted, our loved ones are cured, and we never suffer hurt—right?
Well . . . not really.
What happens when God’s timing is not perfect, at least not from our perspective? What happens when the lifeguard is too late and a lifeless, innocent body is removed from the dark waters? What happens when the miracle cure is not found as family and friends gather around with grief that is inexpressible in words? I remember a particular counseling session where I fought back my own tears with a client and his wife. Through bloodshot eyes and a pain that only a father or mother who has buried a child can fully understand, his voice cracked as he whispered.
“I never gave up. I always believed God would heal our daughter.” We all cried together and for a moment, nothing was said. There really are not any words that can truly explain the death of a child, many have tried, none succeed. After a while, his grief turned to disbelief, and he admitted the pain they both were feeling. “I was raised to believe that you never give up, but God gave up on me.”
In Second Samuel 12; 15-23, King David fasted, prayed, and pleaded with God that his son would live. When he was told the child had died, he dressed, ate, and went to worship the Lord. This astonished everyone around him. David replied, “While the child was alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who can tell whether the Lord will be gracious to me that the child may live? But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me” (2 Samuel 12:22-23).
When we consider the story, it is easy to see that never give up was at the forefront of David’s mind while the child lived. But honestly, I think we are missing the true heart of the story.
David said, “Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.”
I believe with all my heart, David never gave up. Even in death, he trusted God for the precious gift of his son. He was confident the child would be safe with God, until they are reunited in heaven.
It is hard to understand, but to never give up for David meant, in this life or the next, God is faithful and trustworthy. I can trust God with the outcome, even when I do not understand what God is doing.
Have you ever felt like giving up? Have you ever felt your prayers bounced off the ceiling and echo around you, as if your words were hollow and the only person you are fooling is yourself? A very hard truth to understand at times is simply this. Just because we don’t get the results we prayed for, doesn’t mean God has abandoned us.
To never give up means to never stop believing that God is in control and His word provides the comfort and promises that we will one day overcome every trial we ever faced, if we commit our lives to Him and never give up!
Nothing is ever as easy as it sounds, trust God, lean on Him when your life hurts beyond your ability to endure and seek out Godly friends to help you along the way.
And to the best of your ability, Never Give Up!