David began his life as a nobody—an ordinary shepherd boy—chosen by God to become a somebody—an extraordinary king over God’s own people. Yet, before David wore his crown, God shaped his character by allowing pain to be his close companion for over a decade. The presence of suffering made no sense to David at the time; yet God had a purpose David couldn’t imagine as he endured those difficult years.
David’s life reveals this absolute truth about suffering: adversity is allowed for a purpose you often cannot comprehend today. When suffering comes, cling to the words of Isaiah 55:3, 8: “Give ear and come to me; / hear me, that your soul may live. . . . for my (God’s) thoughts are not your thoughts, / neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord” (NIV).
In one of my father’s sermons, he quoted the following poem; may it be encouraging to you today!
When God wants to drill a man
And thrill a man
And skill a man,
When God wants to mold a man
To play the noblest part;
When He yearns with all His heart
To create so great and bold a man
That all the world shall be amazed,
Watch His methods, watch His ways!
How He ruthlessly perfects
Whom He royally elects!
How He hammers him and hurts him,
And with mighty blows converts him
Into trial shapes of clay which
Only God understands;
While his tortured heart is crying
And he lifts beseeching hands!
How He bends but never breaks
When his good He undertakes;
How He uses whom He chooses
And with every purpose fuses him;
By every act induces him
To try His splendor out—
God knows what He’s about!
—Author unknown[ref]Quoted in Charles R. Swindoll, “A Nobody, Nobody Noticed,” in David: A Man of Passion & Destiny.[/ref]