Regrets of Impatience

“The Philistines mustered to fight with Israel, thirty thousand chariots and six thousand horsemen and troops… [Saul] waited seven days, the time appointed by Samuel. But Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and the people were scattering from him. So Saul said, ‘Bring the burnt offering here to me, and the peace offerings.’ And he offered the burnt offering. As soon as he had finished, behold, Samuel came. And Saul went out to meet him and greet him… And Samuel said to Saul, ‘You have done foolishly. You have not kept the command of the Lord your God… Now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought out a man after his own heart…'” 1 Samuel 13:5,8-10,13-14 Now Samuel had died, and all Israel had mourned for him… And Saul had put the mediums and the necromancers out of the land. The Philistines assembled and came and encamped at Shunem… When Saul saw the army of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart trembled greatly. And when Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord did not answer him, either by dreams, or by Urim, or by prophets. Then Saul said to his servants, ‘Seek out for me a woman who is a medium, that I may go to her and inquire of her.’” 1 Samuel 28:3-7 Saul had some makings of a good king, but he never yielded fully to his Sovereign, and thus never grew into greatness. He was impatient in his faith and sloppy in his obedience. When God didn’t ‘deliver’ as he expected or desired, according to his timetable, he took matters into his own hands and bowed to the lesser god of self. He would never know what God could have done for and through him. Impatience insinuates regret.
When Saul failed to wait on the Lord the first time, he was given another chance. Sadly, he proved by his impertinence and self-driven leadership a weak confidence in the Lord who instructed him, and ended up regretting the shame his half-hearted obedience imposed. He never seemed to grasp what it meant and looked like to be wholehearted and submitted. (1 Samuel 15:17-30) Are there tasks or positions God has assigned where I think I have better ideas, better methods? Where am I prone to impatience for His process, for the fulfilling of His promises? Instead of taking control, would I practice turning over the reins to the Potentate of Time, the Sovereign who does all things well with no divine delay? What is He teaching me in the waiting? Deeper dependence? Better vision? Greater patience? (Mark 7:37; 2 Peter 3:8-9) What proclivities have we lamely accepted, excusing them as ‘just the way I am,’ and neglected to bring before Almighty God to hone? Imagine the beauty He could make from our weaknesses, the depth He could add to our character, the reflection of Himself He could polish if we would only surrender. Would we name these before Him today and yield to His chisel? Father, when I am tempted to be impatient at what I think vital, teach me to trust You to show up as You ordain and know best. Guard me from regret in the way I live; rather, may all my faculties be sold out to and for Thee.

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