As I walked through the hallway at work, a couple of people seemed to sense me fast approaching. They stepped aside and said “You look like you are in a hurry so we’ll get out of your way”. I quickly but honestly said with a smile , “Oh, I always look like that!” I immediately realized how telling that statement really was.
For me, if it’s going to happen, it might as well happen now. When I’m driving somewhere, even if I have plenty of time, I still weave through traffic to get there as quickly as possible. At the grocery store, I’ll earnestly search for the shortest line even if I am just headed home with no real plans. (Inevitably, I’ll still end up behind the person who needs a price check on their apples…).
This side of me has panned out well in certain parts of my life. My projects usually get done on time. At church, I’m in the sanctuary early so I can claim MY seat. But sometimes, my sense of hurry isn’t a good thing.
In 1 Samuel 13, the Philistines were coming after Israel (again) so King Saul and the people prepared for battle. Before they could go, a sacrifice needed to be done by the appointed prophet, Samuel.
Samuel said he would be there within seven days but as the people waited, they panicked and started retreating. By day 7, King Saul couldn’t take it anymore and decided to offer the sacrifice himself. Wouldn’t you know it… “as soon as he had finished” with the burnt offering, Samuel showed up… and was not happy.
Saul tried to explain his actions – “When I saw that the people were scattering from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines had mustered at Michmash ….and I have not sought the favor of the Lord.’ So I FORCED myself, and offered the burnt offering.” (1 Samuel 13:11-12)
Saul knew better but his lack of patience got the best of him. Instead of trusting, he was afraid. Instead of waiting, he reacted and took matters into his own hands. And now the kingdom would be taken from his hands.
A moment of hurry resulted in an unfulfilled destiny. What is it for you?
Are you single and tired of waiting on Mr. Right so you settle for Mr. Right Now? You convince yourself that those red-flags aren’t that big of a deal. Or maybe you want a particular position so in the name of hustle and ambition, you strive and push your way to the top.
We can rationalize it in our minds and justify it in our hearts but in reality, we are forcing something now because we think our later is up to us.
I have some good news for you and me: It’s not.
As Samuel told Saul, “You have not kept the command of the Lord your God, with which he commanded you. For then THE LORD WOULD HAVE ESTABLISHED YOUR KINGDOM over Israel FOREVER.” (1 Samuel 13:13)
All Saul had to do was not do anything. If he had just waited, his future would have been secured…forever.
I don’t want to miss out on what God has for me because I’m in a hurry. I don’t want to force an opportunity, conversation, or anything else just because I think it will help God get me somewhere. He doesn’t need my help. He needs my obedience and trust.
As Ruth Simmons said, “Patience is a posture of submission.” The Bible says, “So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.” (James 1:3-4 MSG)
It’s definitely worth the wait. ~Anu
Published February 12, 2020
Anitha (Anu) Abraham - founder of Whispers & Fringes, a group dedicated to empowering women in their faith. She writes and speaks for YouVersion, Proverbs 31 Ministries and also co-wrote “Quest For More: A One-Year Devotional Through the Bible”. In addition to her career in clinical research, she serves alongside her husband Lance as leaders at Covenant Church. She has been married for 21 years and lives in Allen, TX.
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