1 Samuel 13:8-9, “Saul waited there seven days for Samuel, as Samuel had instructed him earlier, but Samuel still didn’t come. Saul realized that his troops were rapidly slipping away. So he demanded, ‘Bring me the burnt offering and the peace offerings!’ And Saul sacrificed the burnt offering himself.”
Have you ever waited for something that seemed to be taking way too long to arrive?
In my devotional time this morning, I read something that caught my attention. Saul was waiting for Samuel to show up, but Samuel took a little longer than expected. As the clock was ticking and Saul noticed that his troops were slipping away, he decided to take matters into his own hands. He decided to sacrifice the burnt offering himself rather than waiting for Samuel to show up.
As I read through these few short verses, God brought to mind how much I’ve acted like Saul before. Either I acted like Saul, or I was tempted to act like Saul.
When it comes to me being single, I oftentimes feel like the clock is ticking. With every passing day, week, month, and year that goes by, that internal clock of mine likes to whisper, “You aren’t getting any younger. Time is not slowing down for you.” Due to this urgency of waiting for someone to show up, there have been times where I’ve decided that it would be better to take matters into my own hands just as Saul did when he became impatient in waiting for Samuel to show up.
I love in the verse above where it says, “Saul realized that his troops were rapidly slipping away. So he demanded, ‘Bring me the burnt offering and the peace offerings!'”
To make this verse my own, this is how my version would read: “Taylor realized that her prospects were rapidly slipping away. So she demanded, ‘Bring me the fallback guy, Christian Mingle, and a college group!'” Taking matters into my own hands at times has looked appealing, but let me share how that ended. I found myself with a broken heart, wounds that God really just wanted to keep me from having, and a new realization that God was right all along, and I should just trust Him.
Have you ever had a dream where you feel like you’re falling, and you woke up because you truly felt like you were falling in real life? I literally get that feeling sometimes at night when I’m just about asleep. Then, suddenly I get startled by the fact that I am still single. I have to recompose myself and remember that it won’t be forever. Just as those falling dreams don’t mean that you’re really falling, my panicking over still not having a husband isn’t something that should scare me either.
Let’s read a little further into Saul’s story.
Verse 10 starts out with this: “Just as Saul was finishing with the burnt offering, Samuel arrived.” It wasn’t that Samuel wasn’t coming. He just hadn’t got there yet.
Sometimes when we’re waiting, panic will start to set in if we aren’t careful, and we will react exactly as Saul did. We will stop waiting and begin manipulating in order to feel like we have some kind of control.
I don’t doubt that God has someone on their way for me. However, I must be careful that I don’t allow the waiting season to cause me to doubt.
You may not be waiting for a spouse tonight. Perhaps what you’re waiting for is completely different. My encouragement is the same regardless. In life, we have two decisions. We can trust God with our lives, or we can take matters into our own hands in an attempt to make life work. I’ve tried both ways, and let me just say from personal experience that taking matters into our own hands isn’t the smartest decision. However, if we will place our lives in the hands of God, we will experience His peace even while the clock is ticking.
Dear Heavenly Father,
All too often I am greatly aware of the fact that the clock is ticking. As more and more years pass and I find myself seeing with my physical eyes no evidence of the one I’m waiting for coming, sometimes I’m tempted to act like Saul did and take matters into my own hands. You’ve shown me that isn’t the way to go, and I’m grateful for that progress. I still need Your help, though. At times, fear and doubt try to poke their heads out in my life and cause me to panic when I should be at peace in You. Help me be able to rest without fear for tomorrow. Thank You that You are ultimately in charge of time. In Jesus’ Name.