1 Samuel 13-14 B

“Now he waited seven days, according to the appointed time set by Samuel, but Samuel did not come to Gilgal; and the people were scattering from him. So Saul said, ‘Bring to me the burnt offering and peace offerings.’ And he offered the burnt offering.” (13:8-9)

There is something far too relate-able about this little faux pas. Most of my transgressions (aka sins I commit on purpose) come from a moment of panic. I can feel the desperation in a situation where you’ve waited as long as you were prepared to wait, and now people are bailing.

Unfortunately, this marks the beginning of the end for Saul.

“Now your kingdom shall not endure. The LORD has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has appointed him as ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you.” (13:14)

If Saul doesn’t have the kind of heart God is looking for, what is the contrast to notice? I think if my heart was always 100% after God, I wouldn’t be so affected by circumstances. It’s hard not to rush ahead and examine all the ways David was different from Saul, and just contemplate this moment.

If this took place in 2018, Samuel could just send Saul an “on my way” text. Still, there’s plenty of unknowns to freak out about, these days. I’m in the process of applying for Italian citizenship by descent. This is made complicated by my tendency to shut down whenever I need to fill out a government form. It’s stressful because of all the unknowns; timing, bureaucracy, etc. I have to constantly check my heart and reign myself in from doing something bonkers in the midst of the stress.

Finding the peace in trusting God in these moments–being “after His heart”–is something I’m sure we all need to grow in. Since the past couple years have brought more stress than usual, I’ve had to become more self-aware about it. I need to physically stop myself when I’m stressed and calm down, hoping to never take it out on someone. I want to get to the root of my fears/anxieties and bring them before the Lord. This is a discipline I will forever be developing, but I hope to encourage you guys in it as well as welcome your own tips.

I know my stress is directly affected by impatience, so I’m becoming more mindful of my love/hate relationship with time. What about you?

-Bethany

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