Dathan’s Dilemma

But unto thee have I cried, O Lord; and in the morning shall my prayer prevent thee.

Psalm 88:13

This story was used to supplement the teaching of Psalm 88.

Dathan Williams was a wealthy Christian man who had everything. He was the textbook picture of success. His wife, Janice, was a successful business leader in her own right. Together they commanded an empire that spread over three continents. This is how things looked to people on the outside. The money, fame, beauty of Janice, as well as the skill and confidence of Dathan led most to celebrate their success.

Returning home after a trip to Western Africa, where he oversaw the building of an orphanage, he found a note from Janice. She left him and had taken the children. She explained in the missive that her lawyer would be in contact to deliver divorce papers. Her note didn’t say why and she refused to talk to him.

A week later, he became very ill. During his trip overseas he picked up a parasite that racked his body with debilitating pain. Between the divorce and the treatments for his ailment, Dathan Williams lost everything. His so-called friends began to distance themselves from him. He eventually moved into a government-sponsored flat on the edge of town, close to the hospital where he was going for weekly treatments. His children never called, Janice never called, he felt all alone.

One night, when things seemed to be at their darkest, Dathan Williams prayed. “Lord, why have you cast my soul away, why do you hide your face from me? Lover and friend you have put far from me, and plunged me into darkness.”

How would you counsel Dathan? Should the Lord be blamed?

Published by David B. Smith

Author, podcaster, pastor, and Big Pappa to my grandchildren.

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