Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
— Psalm 51:1–2

What motivated David to repent and turn back to God? We see the story in 2 Samuel 12. The prophet Nathan came to David and told him a story of injustice about a rich man taking advantage of a poor man. David was outraged at this rich man’s actions. Then Nathan said, “The Lord says this rich man is you, David. You have stolen Uriah’s wife from him to have as your own. It was wrong, and the child you have born together will be taken from you!” David was a student of God’s goodness from the time he was a small boy. He knew that God required his whole heart. He knew Nathan was right and that God was just.

It cost David his son to be set back on the path that God desired. Sometimes our deviation from God’s plan will cost us a lot more than we want to pay. Now is a good time to get back on the right path before the price is too high. This involves our willingness to surrender our own will and to follow God’s ways, which include living a life of holiness.

Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.
— 2 Corinthians 7:1

As I look back over my life, I see many rough times I have had to walk through. Some were self-inflicted, some inflicted by others, and others that were just the circumstance, but I can see that God used them all for my good. He is far more concerned about my heart and relationship with him than he is about me being happy. I can say that the greatest periods of growth in my walk with God have come through times of struggle and discouragement. I know I am a better learner and listener when things are hard or when I cannot handle or fix my situation.

What about you? Think about how God is growing you right now. Are you in a place of difficulty? Have your choices caused you to walk down a tough road? What does he want to teach you today? Does he have your attention, or is it possible that he needs to get your attention? What is he saying?