“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27
Followers of Christianity, Islam and Judaism all honor the man known in the annals of religious history as King David. He was a simple shepherd; a very unlikely candidate to become a king.
Jesse, father of a large family, is asked to introduce his sons so the prophet Samuel can examine them. In that culture, the oldest son would be the first obvious choice but he is passed over, and the rest of the boys—quite fit for military service and thus for leadership—subsequently pass before Samuel. After this parade of the non-chosen, the last of the litter is summoned. Here’s the way Eugene Peterson paraphrases the conversation in The Message:
Then he (Samuel) asked Jesse, “Is this it? Are there no more sons?” “Well, yes, there’s the runt. But he’s out tending the sheep.” And this seemingly unqualified young man is chosen by God through the anointing hand of Samuel.
So begins the saga of King David, chosen somewhere between the ages of fifteen and twenty. Imagine the thoughts whirling in David’s head after that momentous occasion. Was there ridicule from neighbors and family: “Yeah, right…you’re the new king?”
As he bedded down in the green pastures with his sheep, did he think about his older brothers out on the battlefield while he was offering nothing to the ongoing war effort? Even when he obediently carried food to his brothers, he was mocked by the oldest brother: “Why are you here? Who’s with the sheep? You’re just a conceited know-it-all who wants to be the center of attention.”
It would be another fifteen years before the anointed king would take his rightful place as leader, years filled with bloody war, hiding in caves, disappointment and—perhaps the hardest of all—waiting.
David’s poetic words ring with truth: Where would I be if I did not believe I would experience the Lord’s favor in the land of the living? Wait on the Lord! Be strong and confident! Wait on the Lord! (Psalm 27)
Have you felt God’s call on your life to do some specific thing but that call—or at least its specifics—have not been realized? Have you prepared for something that you believe God wants you to do but the opportunity to serve has not yet happened? One of the most difficult things God asks of us is to wait.
We want to jump at the chance, dive into the task, begin the process and God’s Spirit whispers, “Wait.”
Help me, Lord, to trust you enough to wait. And to be aware whether your Spirit is whispering, “Go, stay or wait.”
Was there a time in your life when God asked you to wait? Describe the process. How did you grow spiritually? What were some of the specific difficulties? And rewards?
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