King David and Significance in Suffering A man’s self-image is important. The world teaches us that men are supposed to be strong, courageous, wise, and unemotional. I was a “man”.... I was a husband, a father, a provider. I was “tough”... When the world hit me I hit back. When I was in pain I rubbed dirt in the wound and got back on the field. I didn't have any need for emotions (except anger). I was in control. I was respected and wise. Or at least I thought I was. Then D-day hit. I cried for days. I lost 20 lbs in a month, threw up more times than I can remember. I was dazed. All I wanted was for the pain to go away. I was a complete basket case and the furthest thing from a “man” that I could imagine. I was facing a complete identity crisis. How could I reconcile my beliefs of what a man is with my current beliefs and behaviors? Was I just a weak, emotional, wimp? How could I call myself wise when my wife was cheating on me? It took me quite a while to work my way through the confusion I was feeling and come to an understanding of the flaws in my thinking. I had a couple of resources that helped me work through my mess. The most valuable for me turned out to be a very famous person in the Bible. Psalm 23 (1-6) New International Version (NIV) A psalm of David. 1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. This beautiful and famous Psalm was written by a man named David, King David that is. A man who faced down and defeated the giant Goliath with a sling and stone while the rest of the army cowered in fear. A man who led and won multiple battles. The most powerful man in the land at the time. He was strong and he was wise. In fact, God describes David as “a man after God’s own heart”. Everything you would expect of a man. In addition he was a wonderful poet who wrote Psalms 23, A Psalm of praise and rejoicing. Is there any man in the world who wouldn’t want to be like King David? I don’t think so. But as we TURN the page we find: Psalm 22 (1-8) New International Version (NIV) For the director of music. To the tune of “The Doe of the Morning.” A psalm of David. 1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest. 3 Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One you are the one Israel praises. In you our ancestors put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them. To you they cried out and were saved; in you they trusted and were not put to shame. 6 But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by everyone, despised by the people. All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads. “He trusts in the Lord,” they say, “let the Lord rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.” WOW! Can this be the same King David? He’s sad, and afraid and uncertain. He calls himself a worm. This revelation led me on a path of discovery of what God says a man should be and also how a Godly man should react to adversity or pain. God has shown us that we don’t have to be the angry, controlling, unemotional man the world says we should be. It’s okay to have times of pain and adversity. It’s okay to be emotional. It’s okay to be afraid. Men, as you face the difficult struggle of infidelity please know that whatever reaction you have is normal. Please take the time to react and process in a healthy manner and not be constrained by what we think a “man” should do. Don’t let your pride hinder you from the healing you deserve, be humble like David and experience hope, healing, and true manhood.