How do you react when you have to wait? I’m not very good at it, and try to avoid it when possible. Recently, when I took my car in for routine maintenance, I chose to get a loaner car instead of waiting 90 minutes for the technician to complete the service. After I factored in the extra driving, I’m not sure I actually saved any time.
In reality, times of waiting can prove very valuable. I remember the four and a half years it took to graduate from college. Back then it seemed like a long time. But the process of moving away from home, taking classes, having various jobs, all helped to mature and prepare me for what was ahead.
The eight months between our engagement and wedding seemed more like eight years. But Steve and I needed that time to plan our big day and discuss our future.
Then there were the nine months of pregnancy before the birth of our daughter. All necessary time to prepare us for the adventure of parenthood — the colic and sleepless nights as well as the precious bond that develops between parent and child.
Your times of waiting probably look different. But if you’re honest, you recognize the resulting value. Value that couldn’t be realized any other way.
The road to the throne
I’m reminded of someone whose ‘wait’ was on an entirely different level. David, the son of Jesse, waited 15 years from the time he was anointed as the future king of Israel until he actually took the throne.
What began as an ordinary day of shepherding got interesting as David was hastily called back to the house. No family emergency awaited him; instead the prophet, Samuel, had come with a special task:
Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. 1 Samuel 16:13a; KJV
I wonder what David must have thought as the oil ran down his head and dripped onto his tunic. The next king of Israel? How could it be possible? He was the youngest in his family and just a lowly shepherd.
A musician & a warrior
Things started happening. David was called to the palace to play the harp for King Saul. Although he began as a musician, David may have thought he was well on his way to the throne. But his position wasn’t permanent, and David found himself back among his father’s sheep.
Later when trouble brewed between the Philistines and Israelites, David was chosen by his father to run an errand. Armed with bread, corn, and cheese, David left to see how his brothers and the rest of the soldiers were doing.
I’m not sure what David thought when he saw the champion of the Philistines for the first time. He was an impressive man — standing over 9 feet tall. But it was the giant’s words that angered David:
I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together. 1 Samuel 17:10; KJV
David volunteered to fight Goliath, the Philistine’s warrior. With one smooth stone in his sling, David ran toward the giant and let the stone fly. It found it’s mark and the giant hit the ground — dead.
It didn’t take long for songs to be composed giving praise to David for his victory in battle. King Saul got jealous and over the course of time wanted to kill David. For the next several years, David was on the run. I’m sure this wasn’t the life he pictured when the anointing oil was fresh on his head.
No longer in a hurry
Fast forward to the day King Saul and his sons lay dead on the battlefield. Instead of rejoicing when he heard the news, David mourned. He didn’t immediately claim the throne. David asked the Lord for direction.
Waiting had matured David. Instead of assuming things based on circumstances, he was quick to turn to God and seek His direction and perfect plan.
How do you view waiting? Can you look back and see value in those times? What step will you take to wait patiently?
Can I pray for you?
Heavenly Father, sometimes it’s very hard to wait. Your Word shows us several examples of the value of waiting. We know You’re at work in our lives and Your timing is perfect. Help us be still and know the wait will conform us more and more into Your image (Romans 8:29). In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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