Daily Reflection
January 31st, 2004
Brigid Quinn Laquer
Preventive Medicine
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David is known as the greatest king in the history of Israel and today we see him in all his humanness.  He has impregnated Beersheba, another man’s wife, and ordered the husband to the front so he would be killed in battle.  David is quick to judge the unfair man in Nathan’s story.  Yet, he is able to see himself in the story and he is able to accept the consequences of his actions.  David, like Saul before him, is a great warrior, a handsome man, a powerful man.  David is different from Saul in that he is also repentant.  He accepts the consequences of his disobedience.

Lesson: not that “good people” never sin, but rather “good people” recognize and understand their sin and repent.  They also learn from their mistakes. 

The disciples in the boat are caught in a violent squall.  Jesus remains asleep until they wake him in their panic and fear.  His question to them is “Do you not yet have faith?”

Lesson: trust is needed to develop a mature faith.  David trusted God’s love.  He trusted God’s protection.  He trusted God’s plan.  He trusted God’s mercy.  He accepted God’s judgment as just.  The disciples needed to develop this trust not only in Jesus, but in God’s plan and God’s compassion.

When we set out on the right path (e.g., doing God's will, listening well for God’s guidance, purifying our love for God, and working hard to avoid sin), we tend to pat ourselves on the back for our spiritual maturity. But the sound of the pat-pat-patting can easily distract us from the quiet voice of God.  We often sit down on the journey.  We can become complacent with how far we have come, just as David did.  It is very easy to stray onto the wrong path, the old path, the self-centered path, the prideful path.

Yet, God is always ready to forgive us when we “miss the mark” or stray from the path.  God also uses these opportunities to teach us, to instruct us.  The Latin word disciplina, which our word discipline is derived from, means instruction.  How is it that we have come to think of discipline as punishment?  Is it because we resist God’s instruction as Saul did?  Accepting it as David did allows us to become a better disciple of God.  The source of the word disciple comes from the Latin word which means to learn.  Jesus' lesson for his disciples in the boat and to us is to trust in God.

Lord, teach us to trust You when dark doubts assail us.
Teach us to trust You when our strength is small.
Teach us to trust You when simply to trust You seems the hardest thing of all.   Amen.


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