David’s Disastrous Day

-Written by Katy Key (with assistance from Stan)-

Katy Key - David series 1
November 2015

Last November, I gave a Bible study for a group of 35 people entitled “The Worst Day of David’s Life.” Based on I Samuel 30, my study examined what happened to David and his soldiers at Ziklag when their city was destroyed and their wives and children kidnapped. On that terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day, David lost everything! The situation was so bad that David’s own men wanted to stone him!

Though David’s life journey was composed of many bad days, this was by far the worst! My Bible study was mainly theoretical. Though I tried to make it personal, I knew that nothing in my life came close to resembling David’s disastrous day. Little did I know that, in the providence of God, my teaching had a prophetic element! Three weeks after my Bible study, I experienced the worst day of my life on December 14, 2015 when I suffered a terrible stroke that robbed me of health and dramatically changed my life and the lives of my family. Oh how often the words I spoke in that study rattled around in my mind these past six months as I lay paralyzed in bed trying to make sense of what had happened.

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June 2016

Two weeks ago I was invited to share a word of witness with missionary leaders during a retreat weekend at which Stan was speaking.  At first, I protested.  I wasn’t ready to speak in public from a wheelchair!  And my thoughts were muddled, I had nothing to say. But dutifully I paused to ask God what he thought about this crazy invitation. Surprisingly, His response was quite clear: “Share with them the same Bible study you gave last November, the one about the worst day of David’s life.”

So I did.

David’s “worst day” experience has become for me a type of filter through which I am interpreting my own “worst day” experience. The fact that these two Bible study presentations punctuate my journey both at the beginning and now, six months down the road, only enhances my desire to make David’s lessons my own. In an effort to personalize and apply the truth of Scripture, I thought I would share this Bible study with you¹.

What did David do on the worst day of his life?

I. He wept (I Sam. 30:4).  He and those who were with him “raised their voices and wept until they had no more strength to weep.” Rather than stuffing his emotions, he expressed them. David had emotional integrity. He didn’t deny his agony nor did he pretend to be strong. David simply poured out his heartache to His Heavenly Father. Tears may not change our circumstances but they do help us move through our circumstances. They are a gift from God to cleanse and comfort.

II. He refused to get bitter (I Sam. 30:6). Though the people with him were “bitter in soul”, David refused to permit the cancer of bitterness to take up residence in his heart. Everyone else was looking for someone to blame but David refused this path as well. David was “greatly distressed” to be sure, but with God’s help he found strength to keep the bitter experiences on the outside from becoming a root of bitterness on the inside. I have realized that it is hard to get bitter in spirit when you turn your gaze outward to the suffering of others and upward to a compassionate and loving Father. If I focus more on Who He is rather than Why He has allowed this or that in my life, then I am less likely to be embittered by trials and troubles. I may never understand why but through these sufferings, I can know Him more!

III. He “strengthened himself in the Lord” (I Sam. 30:6).  When all seemed hopeless and no one could help, David found a quiet place to get alone with God.  Rather than blaming God, he found strength in God.  Rather than focusing on his problems, David focused on the only One who could help!  He chose to believe in God and His promises even when nothing in life made sense. In my own endless need for strength, I realize that it’s not only about understanding where my strength comes from, the One who made Heaven and earth(Ps 121:1,2), but understanding that I have no strength apart from Him (John 15:5). Paul reminds us that His strength is made perfect in our ‘strengthless-ness’ (2 Cor. 12:9). Acknowledging where true strength comes from helps me look and lean on Him for everything I face.

IV. He “inquired of the Lord” (I Sam. 30:7-8). Rather than trying to come up with his own plan and relying on some man-made solution, David sought direction from God. Show me your way, O Lord! David inquired of the Lord in the midst of his pain. It’s difficult to see clearly when you’re in pain and yet pivotal decisions have to be made. For us, as we look back we can see His provision and direction at each point of the journey when a decision was needed. We can easily trace His path through the darkness as He led time and time again to provide the best care for what I needed when I needed it. We were clueless! Yet while we were clueless, He was not! He knew what was best and led us in it.

V. He got up and moved forward (I Sam. 30:9). Rather than groveling in the paralysis of self-pity, David did the most courageous thing anyone can do who has lost everything: he got up! Then he simply took the next step. For me, I continue to take the next step and then the next step in this journey by His grace and strength! This week marked a new step as we started outpatient therapy. We continue to trust the lord for more independence and mobility as we continue to move forward.

Perhaps you think that I am sharing this Bible study because I think that you need to hear it. No! I’m sharing this Bible study because I need to hear it! In fact, I’m sharing it in the hopes that I will be wise enough to listen to my own sermon!

¹The original inspiration for this study as well as key points in the outline come from a book written by Brian Zahnd entitled What to Do on the Worst Day of Your Life (Christian Life, Lake Mary, FL, 2009).

 

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45 thoughts on “David’s Disastrous Day

  1. Knowing you were speaking I was praying…and He answered! What a blessing for those of us in need of the reminder of who He is…no matter the circumstances. Continuing to pray as you continue to take one step at a time. And rejoicing with you for the gift of Josiah Blake, and the gift of your tenaciousness to be a part of this sweet time for Liz and Ben. 💖

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  2. Wow I am so good at step one: cry. I have that one down pat. I also am very good at pouting, complaining, raging, and, well you get the point. And God is good to let me do all of that, like a tantruming toddler, while He waits for me to lift my eyes back to Him. The rest of those steps are harder. But none of them are done in a vacuum devoid of God. And that makes all the difference. Keep growing stronger In Him and in your body Katy!!!! And thank you for this great reminder 😊

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    1. What you see is what you get with Maureen. I’ve always loved that about you. You’re expressive of what’s going on in your heart so we aren’t left guessing or interpreting. Gotta love that!after crying, the other steps are harder for me too. Thanks for bring your honest self
      Katyk

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  3. Thanks, Katy. I am reading I Samuel for my devotional time each morning. This comes as a nice accompaniment to my study. I am always amazed what David went through for years. I will pray you will be as victorious as David in all ways. Thank you for these thoughts.

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    1. Don, I meant to thank you f or this comment when you were here last evening but forgot. There’s maybe nothing more powerful in this world than a man who stays in the Word. Thank you for being that kind of man! A man who lives in the Trut h and lives out the Truth.
      Katy

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    1. Bill, what an encourager you are! Thank you for your kind and meaningful comments. We appreciate you and your faithfulness in life n ministry to Him.
      With a grateful heart,
      Katy

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  4. I DO need to hear it! That you did this Bible Study before everything and were able to repeat it after is an absolute miracle of grace and I marvel at how God has used your life before and now. We continue to pray for healing and wholeness, as you continue to “walk by faith, not by sight”. I am in awe of the God who can bring you through this, as HE did David. It reassures me to know “our God is greater, higher, stronger than” anything we can face.

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    1. Always so well spoken! You never cease to inspire me. Thank you for truly sharing in this journey with us.
      Love, katy

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  5. God is indeed faithful when we seek Him. You are such an inspiration in all you are going through. I too am praying for victory for you. God bless you for stepping out of your comfort zone to follow God’s lead. Continue to get strong in the Lord and in your body.❤️🙏🏻

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  6. Katy this is so true! I appreciate your honesty. We can’t rely on our own strength, but he has more than enough for all of us! God continue to bless you and heal you! Love you!

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    1. Carole, you never ever cease to amaze me, how you give and love from the heart ,always. Would love to hear sometime about your trip n Tim back “home”iniowa! Thanks for moving to Albany so we could know you before we moved! God does all things well! Much love, katy

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  7. God Bless you Katy! God Blessed all of us through your obedience to speak last November. I am so thankful you are allowing Him to work through this tragedy. You are my hero! I love you!

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    1. Oh Sue, I your love humbles and strengthens me . I am no “hero” but if I could be one, I would want to be yours! There is pain so much greater than mine,pain that’s so deep, you can’t share. You’ve known that, THANKFULhes bringing both of us through!
      Katy

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  8. This is wonderful. Thank you, Kathy, for your wise words and wonderful teaching. It was such a pleasure to finally meet you face-to-face. You are loved and prayed for continually.

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    1. Laura, I am so humbled and grateful for your prayers and for those of others at One WayMinistries. I have a pic of your holding Josiah in the hospital and it makes me happy just looking at it, knowing God has provided such a precious community for Josiah, LElisabeth and Ben.
      love,
      Katy

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  9. God bless you Katy Key! Your courage and beauty shine and we are ever challenged by your words of wisdom! I needed this tonight– the reminder of how to walk faithfully even in a frail state. Thank you!!!!!

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    1. Not sure if I know you or not…. Lots of Cathy’s. But I suspect if I knew you, I could say these samewordsback to you!love the idea of walking faithfully in frailty!i heard a sermon title recently, called “Ply hurt “, and think it’s just a great title. Keep running the race even when we’re limping or barely able to jog it!love to you! Keep the faith! Run the race with me!

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  10. Thank you, sweet Katy, for letting God use you to inspire and instruct the rest of us as you deal with such turmoil and suffering. I have been in an experience of pain, but mine has been emotional pain while you have had terrible physical suffering in addition to the emotional pain. At times I have felt overwhelmed with grief, but your testimony has shown me how small my pain is compared to what you have, and also what a great and loving God we have. Thank you. I love you. Ruth

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    1. Ruth,
      I know when I hear from you, I am hearing from a fellow sufferer,so I appreciate your comments &insightsand prayers. I have known enough emotional pain in my life to know it can be worse. Than physical, certainly much harder to relieve.i wish I could ease yours. Knowing you, I suspect you wish you could ease mine,but even feeling for each other gives strength, for which I’m grateful.continuing to trust with you and for you that the comforter will come just when we need Him most.
      Love,
      Katy

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  11. God gives us tears to let the pain out. Then the Holy Spirit can feel that place in our heart with His peace.

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    1. Susan,
      Would like to know you. Maybe I do…..but I am unsure. Thank you for sharing some of whatGod has done in your own life!so thankful for His healingofody and soul in your life!
      Katy

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  12. Hi Katy,

    I can’t begin to know what you’ve been through, but I have so much respect for you! I had to reread this passage this morning as a result of reading your blog. The points are all marked! Our Biblestudy group was just discussing a difficult situation of a family who is facing a terminal illness, and one of our members was really struggling with what to say, how to think about it. I am definitely going to share your thoughts and insights from Samuel.

    Katy, I’ve been praying for you and am SO grateful that, though so broken, you have held so tightly to God’s hand. At the same time, I know that there were times when you weren’t able to hold on…and He held on to you. It’s so true that we can do NOTHING apart from Him!

    Thanks for letting God speak so beautifully through you…no matter what state you’ve been in! That goes for your Stan and your family as well!

    Love from the Kalajainens!
    Colleen

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  13. Katy, thank you for sharing this! You have truly been through the worst of times and your faith and obedience to God throughout your ordeal shines like a bright light giving all of us a great example of what it means to really put all our faith, every moment of our lives, in God our Father. Your witness to His faithfulness in your provisions gives us encouragement! Thank you God for Katy! Please God, give your servant Katy total healing! Love you, Katy!

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  14. Dear Katy and Stan,

    Thank you for sharing this lesson on David’s worst day and weaving your story in with his.

    I appreciate your insights so very much!

    Praying for continued strengthening as you lean on the One who is our strength. Don’t you just love Proverbs 18:10:

    The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous runs into it and is safe.

    Please hug Uncle Dennis for me! 🙂

    Love to you all,

    Beth bethlreed@gmail.com

    >

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    1. DearestLeslee,I love being your aunt,proud to be!These kind things you have said here about me, I would say about you and I love that. We see Jesus in each other! Nothing else matters really.thank you for this!Love you girl!

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    2. My dear Leslee, I am your proud aunt! proud ! I could say the same things about you that you have said here about me,and I love that ,that we see Jesus in each other!what else matters?!Love you. A. katy

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  15. Katy, ILook at this as an encouragement that when the trials come I will remember David’s trial &yours. I thank you for sharing your journey & Praise God for how he is using this real life experience. Katy, what a gift you have . Thank you so much ❤️ Pat

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  16. Thank you, Katy, for sharing. I’ve been following your journey and praise the Lord with you for both your progress and your testimony through it all. My bad days are nothing compared to some you’ve had and you have encouraged me greatly to just keep my eyes on our Savior instead of on whatever the problem at hand is. You continue to be in my prayers as you let the Lord lead and use you in the lives of those around you.

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  17. Katy! We all need to hear that sermon. The Lord evidently chose you to demonstrate the power of Faith to those of us following your journey. Your bar has been raised very high. All of us are not only praying for you but desperately hoping that you will show us how it is done!! I feel as though the Lord has entrusted you with a daunting responsibility. It can’t possibly seem like an honor, but it is!

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    1. Carl,
      You made my day just seeing your name here. Thanks for following our journey.your words are so true that Hispower is made perfect /is displayed in our weakness. So themore broken or weak we are, the more His power can be seen.youre right. It’s an honor to show His power but you’re also right that it doesn’t feel good to be weak or limited in strength,mobility….to be disabled! It’s not something an of us would choose, but what great hope it gives to all of us that when we’re most broken, He can beseen in us. “We have this treasure innards of Clayton show that this all surpassing power is from God and not from us. (II Cor.4:7) So any good that comes out of this dreadful stroke comes fromHim.and that is the truth!Greetings to your sweet wife and wonderful parents.thanks again for letting His power be seen in you through your creative craftsmanship on the LCC church sanctuary platform.

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  18. Once again, Katy, your words and example (and family’s too) have encouraged me…a reminder that I truly have never had a disastrous day! All praise and thanks to God for His great grace and mercy! Blessings, love and prayers for you all, Helen

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  19. Katy, As I re-read your post, I continually give thanks for how you allow the Lord to use you and inspire others to seek the Lord with all of our hearts! Thank you for your obedience and your love of Jesus that shines through. Have you thought about doing some on line bible studies? You would be excellent!

    It was so good to see you the other week and I think of you often! You look marvelous and I thank God for you and Stan and your constant witness of the love of Christ! Praying for y’all! Hug your family for us! Love you, Kris Key (KK)

    Sent from my iPad

    >

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