One time, I had a complete and total identity crisis inspired meltdown over everything in the world that I didn’t know how to accomplish but wished I could.
That one time was three days ago.
And it wasn’t just the one time.
Recently, I shared with you that God had called me away from a business that I spent three years building (read about that here), and hadn’t quite revealed what else He had in store for me. It was just a “that’s enough of that, stay tuned” sort of command…and while it didn’t scare me to obey quite as much as it scared the people around me, the wait has been the true test of faith.
It’s much easier to listen to God when he’s given you a direct order, and much harder to obey when he asks you to wait on the next one.
I also talked about God’s timing and how slowly things can seem to unfold when I posted about faith and fear here. The post was in reference to our struggle to carry a healthy pregnancy, though in retrospect, I should have taken my own advice and avoided this crazy spiral I indulged in on Saturday afternoon.
The truth is, it’s not always easy to do what’s right. I’d be lying if I said there weren’t days where I struggle with the decision to step away from the spotlight and pursue God’s dreams for my life instead of my own selfish desires. It would be far from honest for me to pretend that I don’t still yearn for some sort of applause; there is no monetary compensation for my time spent writing a blog to minister to others, there is no stage to strut across when I’ve hit a milestone, there is no recognition when I accomplish a personal goal.
Much like a working mom temporarily retiring to stay at home with her children, I’ve gone from a little tiny somebody to a mostly invisible nobody, and I’ve been asked to be okay with that.
Sometimes I am. And sometimes I’m not.
Luckily, God doesn’t get exasperated with my insanely human need to feel important. He knew where I would struggle before He even asked me to step away, and He had the peace and comfort and lesson lined up for me even before I would need it.
Could it have been any coincidence, then, that the morning after my pity party for one was the day I read 1 Samuel 26? I’ll explain why this chapter was so educational for me in just a minute, but first… I’d been working my way through a 1 and 2 Samuel study since I got back from SheSpeaks. You’ll remember that that conference took place at the end of July. It should definitely have not taken me two and a half months to get through the 26th chapter, reading one chapter a day.
But it did.
Because for awhile I didn’t pick up the study. Or I’d miss a day here and there. In any case, that I read chapter 26 on this particular morning was a divine appointment orchestrated by God so far in advance of my life my human brain can’t even fathom.
Do you ever take the time to wonder at the awe-inspiring way God sets up the details of our lives? That thought alone should have been enough to dry my tears and offer relief and comfort that God sees me. And He always has a plan.
But it wasn’t. No, on that day, I needed the lesson.
1 Samuel 26 is the story of David, having spent years running from King Saul who is hell bent on killing him, being in a prime position to take Saul’s life in his sleep. By doing so, he would thereby eliminate the rivalry and end his need to be on the run. King Saul is at the mercy of the man he’s hunted. David’s servant encourages David to kill the king and take the throne. But David responds with this, instead, in verses 9-11:
“But David said to Abishai, “Don’t destroy him! Who can lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed and be guiltless? As surely as the Lord lives, the Lord himself will strike him, or his time will come and he will die, or he will go into battle and perish. But the Lord forbid that I should lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed.”
You have to really grasp the story in order for this demonstration of self-discipline and self-restraint to bowl you over the way it did me.
- David had been on the run from this man for YEARS. Years of his life spent running and hiding instead of doing what he really wanted to be doing.
- God had promised David the kingdom, David had the chance to kill the king and receive that blessing quickly, but instead he chose to wait on God’s perfect timing even though it caused discomfort and frustration in his life.
- This was the second time David had the chance to end his misery and the second time he chose to trust the Lord instead.
- David had the support and encouragement of his friends to kill the king, and he would have been admired by those he led, but it was more important for him to be right with God than to be applauded by man.
Who wouldn’t have been tempted to put an end to their suffering? I’m tempted every day to conveniently forget what I’ve been told to do and go back to what I know and have proven to be good at. But at what expense? We live in a culture that can’t quite handle any amount of suffering. We are designed by society to remedy every discomfort as quickly as possible by any means necessary–insert too much medication distributed and too much fast food sold.
But what will I really accomplish by easing the pain of the wait to satisfy the need of my flesh?
What David knew and demonstrated in this inspiring moment of complete faith, is that there’s a point to the journey. If God promised David the kingdom, and hadn’t yet given it to Him, there was a reason for the season of trial.
And so it is with me.
Possibly, it’s the same for you.
How often do we pray out of circumstances instead of praying for understanding through our circumstances? If David had cut his journey short, his character would not have been developed fully, and he wouldn’t have been prepared to be the king God intended for him to be.
If I try to cut my journey short, what future blessings will I disqualify myself for? How much more time will I inadvertently add to my wait?
What are you waiting on today? If this story of David’s faith encouraged you, share in what ways.