“You have done a foolish thing,” Samuel said. “You have not kept the command of the Lord your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’ command.” 1 Samuel 13: 13-14
Waiting…have you ever been in line at the store and the aisle next to you seems to be moving so much faster than the one you’re in? You do this mental thing trying to calculate how long the person in front of you will take as compared to the people moving so much faster in the other lane. Then, you just can’t take it, you must move! You get in the other checkout lane just in time to be boxed in when the person in front of you has problems and has to get the manager or get a price check because they’re missing a tag. There you are, watching as the original lane you were in zips along and you aren’t even moving. The three people that were behind you in the other line are now out the door. You end up wasting so much more time than you would have if you just would have waited. Familiar?
Sometimes it’s easy to do this in life too. Waiting isn’t fun. Patience is a thing we don’t have time for. When God doesn’t move on our timetable we get anxious and we kinds get the same feeling that we get standing in the checkout line. That’s the way Saul felt in the passage above. The set time of seven days came, Samuel was late, and the army was leaving him. He took things into his own hands. But no sooner had he made the disobedient sacrifices that Samuel shows up! Busted! The original checkout line would have been a better choice. Because of his actions, Samuel tells him his kingdom will not endure and that the Lord has sought a man after his own hear to be appointed the ruler. OUCH!!! Not only was he being reprimanded, but his kingdom was taken away. He lost everything because he didn’t trust God enough to trust his timing too.
Oh man, have I struggled with this! I feel the need to “help” God so often just because I don’t see the way and I get impatient. But when I jump lines, it never fails, God shows up and I feel stupid because I didn’t’ wait on him. And more often than not, I have a mess to clean up from my rushed actions.
My prayer today, for all of us, is that we will stay in our own lane and find ways to praise God in our checkout line. I want to be the woman after God’s own heart, not be told that someone else will take my place because I was disobedient.
Lord, help us today and every day to realize that trusting you means trusting your timing as well. Even though we don’t like it and we don’t understand it, give us the fruit of patience in our life. Make us woman after your own heart, which includes your timetable. In Jesus’ name, amen.