I must admit that a PCS often brings logistics that are hard for me to handle
And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God. (1 Samuel 30:6)
The military offers checklists for the practical logistics of a PCS—before, during, and after. You can download handy lists just begging for red checks regarding everything you need from packing to setting up your new home.1
While such lists are helpful, especially for unorganized people like me, I wish there was an Emotional Logistics Checklist. Logistics is a term the military uses for handling the details of an operation. I must admit that a PCS often brings logistics that are hard for me to handle. I need a checklist for getting to the other side of:
No matter what spin you put on the event, one or more of these emotional logistics will accompany your PCS. You cannot deny that moving is a distressing experience.2
Relocation can make you feel like an exile with loss of place and person. British military wife Sue Jervis writes of the relocation experience, “There can be few other situations that remove individuals so completely from the people, places, possessions, and projects that make their lives meaningful and underpin their identities.”3 Preach it, Sue!
One of David’s PCS moves took him to the village of Ziklag to escape the jealous wrath of King Saul. While there, he went on a raiding party to another village. When he returned he found that his enemies had burned Ziklag and had taken captive the women and children. In anger and grief, he and his men wept to the point of exhaustion. David’s men took their grief to the extreme and wanted to stone him. David’s identity went from hero to villain.4 Nothing about his circumstances was encouraging.
The time in Ziklag was one of the greatest crises David faced. Sister, don’t miss how David dealt with this emotional logistic: “He strengthened himself in the LORD.”
Don’t miss how David dealt with this emotional logistic: He strengthened himself in the LORD.
He did not turn to other sources to numb his pain. He did not have supporting agencies from which to seek advice. Google search was not even a dream. However, he had a personal faith in God that could sustain him in the time of crisis.5 I am thankful for the multiple resources available to provide help with my emotional logistics, but I am careful not to overlook the best resource to handle them: The Lord.
What PCS details cause you to become discouraged? In what ways you can strengthen yourself in the Lord?
Prayer for the journey
Lord, I cry to you for help. I know you will hear and deliver me out of all my troubles. You are near to the broken hearted and you save the crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:17–18).
1 Military.com offers numerous PCS downloadable checklists to help you organize your military move at http://www.military.com/money/pcs-dity-move/pcs-checklists.html (accessed August 8, 2015).
2 Sue Jervis, Relocation, Gender and Emotion: A Psycho-Social Perspective (London: Karnac Books, Ltd., 2011), 53.
3 Ibid, 68.
4 Ralph Klein, Word Biblical Commentary: 1 Samuel (Waco Texas: Word Publishing, 1983), 283.
5 Bill Arnold, NIV Application Commentary: 1 & 2 Samuel (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003), 389.