I started watching the Hunger Games Series a few weeks ago. I hadn't read the books so I knew nothing about the plot of the story but here's the gist of the series: to avoid political uprising, the Capital randomly selects one male and female child from each of 12 districts to participate in a fight to the death with one lone survivor. During the Hunger Games, these children are placed in extreme conditions with insurmountable odds against them. As I watched this series, I thought about my situation and how at times it felt barren and devoid of life.
Then I thought about the son of Jonathan in II Samuel 9 who was placed in Lo-debar. Lo-debar was a city where there was barrenness, no productivity and essentially the place of the forgotten. Lo-debar actually means "no pasture." It was a place where nothing would grow. There are times in all of our lives where we will be tossed into Lo-debar and it feels like we are forgotten. I've been there. There have been nights where I just cried myself to sleep wondering if there would ever be a change in my situation. I longed for deliverance but it seemed that deliverance was no where to be found. The most detrimental thing about Lo-debar is that there is no upward mobility. Once you are there, you become stagnant. Since nothing grows in Lo-debar the life is slowly drained from you and if you are not careful, death is imminent.
What I have discovered in my own Lo-debar is that it is a place of transition. Lo-debar is not my final destination. I cannot look at what is going on around me as an indication of what my future will bring but I must remain hopeful and look for the promises of God to become a reality in my life. All the while that Jonathan's son Mephibosheth was in Lo-debar, David was looking to restore him. He thought he had been forgotten but in the midst of feeling hopeless, plans were being made for his restoration. David found him and brought him out of Lo-debar and into his proper place - the palace.
As I sat and watched the Hunger Games, I was left with a feeling of peace knowing that in the end of the movie the main character defeated her enemies and found rest. After all of the destruction, death, and turmoil the main character faced, she navigated through her personal Lo-debar and suddenly she was lying in green pastures. As a result, I thought about my own Lo-debar experience yet I remain hopeful that my days of palace living are on the way. God has not forgotten about His children. David reminds us in the 23rd Psalm that even though we may be walking through the valley of the shadow of death, God is right there with us in the midst of our darkest hours. God is working to bring about deliverance. Yes there will be moments when you are afraid. Yes there will be moments when you have to cry. Yes there will be days when you feel like giving up. But in those times remember that God is making a way of escape for you. He never sleeps. All we have to do is navigate through Lo-debar and not become infected with the spirit of Lo-debar.
Today affirm yourself with these words: My dream is not dead. My vision will become a reality. I will give birth to my promise.
What has your own Lo-debar experience taught you?
Until next time....Be Real. Be Authentic. Be YOU!