“When I saw that the men were scattering, and that you did not come at the set time, and that the Philistines were assembling at Mikmash, 12 I thought, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the Lord’s favor.’ So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering.” I Samuel 1311-12
As I read this today, I was struck by these three words and what compelled Saul to act in haste instead of waiting as instructed. The Scripture says Saul saw, he thought and he felt all of which led him to foolish behavior. Times of waiting are some of the hardest of times. During times of waiting it is easy to focus our eyes on our situation, looking intently at it , so much that it becomes our complete vision blinding us from truth. Also our thinking is up for discouragement during the waiting. Not only do we see our situation, it’s all we can think of. In fact if we aren’t careful it can consume our thinking. Wrong thinking then leads to wrong actions. Our minds are battlegrounds and the way we think is of key importance. Our feelings also play a huge hand into our actions. Waiting is hard, we feel out of control, we feel frustration, we feel anxiety and we feel the need to do something just as Saul felt compelled to act.
Our family has been waiting for months now to go to the mission field. Hearing the needs of the world and saying we’ll go, we’ll go, but having to wait. It has not been easy or fun. And during this time of waiting their have often been times when all I could see is our situation, all I could think of is how hard the waiting is. Times when I have felt compelled to just go. Times I have said, “let’s just buy a ticket and go.” To which my husband calmly replies, go where, do what? Times I have felt ready to give up and just quit because the waiting is hard.
However the Lord is teaching me during the waiting that my focus, my eyes must be on Him. For as I see Him and focus my eyes on Him I am reminded I can trust Him. He’s teaching me, my thoughts too much be centered on Him. A correct thinking is essential. I must resist the lies and doubts the enemy places in my mind and think upon truth. Think upon, “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things (Phil. 4:8).” Finally He is teaching me, especially in times of waiting that if my eyes are on Him and my thoughts are on Him, this will affect how I feel. For I will have peace, I will have joy, I will have the grace to endure. I will believe that He is in control, that He knows and sees. That He has a plan and a purpose and that He is using all of this to accomplish His purposes.
No, waiting isn’t easy or fun, but it is through such times in my own life that my faith has been tested, tried and grown. It has been through such times I can look back on now and visibly see His hand working out things for His good and His glory.
So, if you are in a season of waiting, don’t give up and don’t give into looking and thinking on your situation. Don’t give into feelings and urges to get ahead of God or to give up on God. He has not forgotten you or given up on you. He has a plan and He is at work, though you may not be able to see it.
Saul saw, thought and felt foolishly, thus acted foolishly when He grew tired of waiting. Because of his foolish action, the kingdom was taken from Him. We will all grow weary in the wait, but we must stand firm and hold on, for He is on His throne and is in control. The Lord will bless those who wait upon Him, He will strengthen us during the wait and He will bring us through.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:30-31