Today, I am tired.
And it shows. Words seem tricky and hard to maneuver, elusive and even a little mocking as they play hide and seek in my mind. This morning with my kids, I would snap my fingers and squint my eyes trying to think—“What’s that word . . what’s that word again . . oh, yeah, shoes. Yes, put your shoes on.”
The trouble started just a few weeks ago when my toddler appeared by my bedside at 6:00 a.m. and announced it was morning and time to get up for the day.
Now, many of you are routinely early risers and prefer waking in the darkness and sipping hot coffee leisurely over your devotions before heading out for your morning commute.
At our house, however, morning begins at 7:00 a.m. So, when my early riser appeared another morning at 5:45, I mumbled, “It’s still night time.”
“No, it’s morning,” she answered and pointed out the window to the few glimmers of sunlight visible through the blinds.
Unwilling to give in, I explained, “You really need more sleep.”
With a simple, “I’m awake,” she bounced out of my room ready for cheerful activity while I shuffled behind her like a zombie.
What my toddler doesn’t understand is that waking me too early in the day ultimately short-changes her. I’m a happier, more cheerful, more productive, more energetic, more playful mommy when we all agree to sleep until 7 a.m.
Impatience typically has a way of short-changing all of us. We miss out on God’s best because we’re not willing to wait for it, settling instead for whatever barely acceptable option presents itself.
Or, while we wait we make it clear that we hate this. We hate the unknown of it all, the required patience, the uncertainty, the lack of control, and the destruction of our own agenda. We whine. We nag. We grumble and complain. We envy others who already have that ministry, that relationship, that job, that child, that clear direction, that future.
It’s as if we pop up to the throne at 5:45 and announce, “It’s time! I’m awake. Let’s get going.” God’s plan, however, is to present us with His 7:30 best.
In 1 Samuel 8, the people of Israel wanted something from God. Following the leadership of Moses and Joshua, a series of judges had led the nation and delivered them from the perpetual persecution of the Philistines and other surrounding enemies.
This era of judges ended with Samuel the prophet, who led the people to rededicate themselves to God. When he tried to pass the baton of authority to his sons, however, the people quickly complained: “Behold, you are old and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint for us a king to judge us like all the nations” (1 Samuel 8:5 ESV).
The people didn’t trust God’s ability to choose their rulers and they were no longer willing to wait for Gideons and Samsons and Deborahs to deliver them, to direct them spiritually, to lead them into battle or to arbitrate their disagreements.
They wanted what other nations had—-assured succession and an inherited throne. Not only that, they wanted it at 5:45 and they weren’t willing to wait until 7:30.
In her book, A Heart Like His, Beth Moore writes:
“God had already planned a king for the people. Their lack of patience was to cost them dearly. If they had waited for the Lord’s choice instead of demanding their way, how different might the story have been?” (pp. 32-33).
God’s design for a Messianic line and for an eternal kingship to emerge from the tribe of Judah and through the house of David required the king of God’s choosing at the time of God’s choosing.
Instead, the people wanted a king and they wanted one NOW. So they settled for Saul.
Then, years later, unwilling to wait for Samuel to offer a promised sacrifice on the eve of battle—full of as much impatience as the nation that had demanded a king in the first place--Saul did the unthinkable. He, a king and not an anointed priest, sacrificed to God. That cost him his reign.
Thus, Samuel traveled to a man named Jesse’s house and anointed a ruddy and handsome young shepherd to be God’s chosen king. Indeed:
He chose David his servant
and took him from the sheepfolds;
from following the nursing ewes he brought him
to shepherd Jacob his people,
Israel his inheritance.
With upright heart he shepherded them
and guided them with his skillful hand (Psalm 78:70-72).
God wanted a shepherd to shepherd His people, just as He later chose fishermen to become fishers of men.
That was God’s best.
God’s best was a man who would write:
For God alone my soul waits in silence;
from him comes my salvation (Psalm 62:1, ESV).
The Message version says:
God, the one and only— I’ll wait as long as he says.
Everything I need comes from him,
so why not?
He’s solid rock under my feet,
breathing room for my soul (Psalm 62:1-2, MSG).
Unlike the impatient nation of Israel demanding a king like other nations had …
Unlike Saul impatiently giving up on the tardy Samuel and offering a sacrifice on his own …
David waited for God, waited in silence, waited as long as God said. If we want God’s very best for us, we must do the same.
You can read more devotionals on this topic here:
- Devotions from My Garden: Season of Prayer
- Lessons from the Theater, Part I
- You Have Stayed Long Enough
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2012 Heather King