by Sheri Schofield
A pleasant bubble bath scented with lavender, plus a nice cup of milk before bed were just what I needed. I opened the window to enjoy the pleasant forest breeze, stretched, sighed with contentment, lay my head down on my pillow, and closed my eyes.
Uh-oh. My eyes flew open. The skunks were fighting again! I jumped out of bed and ran to close the window. As I reached for the latch, thunder crashed, lightning flashed, and our house was shaken by the force. I climbed back in bed and waited it out. Eventually, the fierce battle in the heavens moved on and I fell asleep.
Have you noticed that sometimes in life, when all is going smoothly, unexpected traumas crash down on us? Suddenly, we are shaken out of our calm, our adrenaline shoots up, and we face into the wind of a wild storm, a demanding, turbulent battle.
Abigail, a wise, beautiful woman of Israel, experienced just such an unexpected storm. In her day, women had little or no choice in who they married. She had been given to Nabal, a rich landowner in Israel. He was loud, proud, and foolish.
From what we read in 1 Samuel 25, we know that David and his men had been guarding Nabal’s sheep as a courtesy. It was the custom of the day for the landowner to thank those who had offered such services by providing food at the end of the sheep shearing time.
David sent some of his young warriors to Nabal asking for provisions. But Nabal, who appears to have been a cheapskate as well, scorned them, screaming insults against them and David. The men returned and told David, who flared into anger at this abuse. He ordered four hundred of his men to arm themselves and follow him, declaring he would wipe out everyone at Nabal’s house.
Meanwhile, Nabal’s servants ran to Abigail and told her what had happened. Abigail’s calm was shattered. She ordered her servants to put together enough food to literally feed an army! She loaded it onto donkeys and told her servants, “Go on ahead. I will follow you shortly.” But she didn’t tell her husband Nabal what she was doing. (See 1 Samuel 25:19 NLT.)
Abigail, riding a donkey toward the pass, saw David and his warriors coming. When she reached them, she quickly dismounted and knelt before David. She took the blame for the insult and told David her husband was an ill-tempered fool, but she had brought the food. She urged David not to take vengeance. “When you are king, you do not want to have this incident of vengeance on your conscience,” she told him.
David thanked her for her intervention and for the food, praising God for stopping him from taking revenge.
When Abigail told Nabal what had happened, Nabal had a stroke and died. When David heard about this, he said, “Praise the Lord! He has avenged me! Now someone go ask Abigail if she will marry me!” So Abigail became David’s wife.
What had started as a terrible storm turned into a deliverance from bondage and a beautiful love story.
When God allows storms in our lives, his purpose may not be immediately revealed. We may not see the point this side of heaven. But when we trust God through our suffering, we know there will be eventual blessing because of the storm.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28 NIV
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Sheri Schofield is an award-winning children’s author-illustrator and children’s ministry veteran of 40 years. Sheri was named Writer of the Year in 2018 at the Colorado Christian Writers’ Conference for her work in effectively sharing the gospel of Jesus. Her ministry, Faithwind 4 Kids, can be followed on her blog at her website, http://www.sherischofield.com. Questions welcomed!
FREE CHILDREN’S PROGRAM! Author/Children’s Bible teacher, Sheri Schofield, offers a free series of video lessons about Jesus and His salvation—for children ages 4 and up. It is available at her website www.sherischofield.com. In this video series, Walk-The-Talk Island, Sheri presents her award-winning book The Prince and the Plan, in 24 video lessons for your children, grandchildren and any others with whom you wish to share. In addition, Campfire provides devotions for children.
Join the Conversation: What blessings have you received because of the storm?