Tending to my Sheep, and Waiting

Tending to my Sheep, and Waiting

“Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, ‘The Lord has not chosen these.’ So he asked Jesse, ‘Are these all the sons you have?’ ‘There is still the youngest,’ Jesse answered. ‘He is tending the sheep.'” (1 Samuel 16: 10-11)

What was David doing to prepare himself to become Israel’s next king when Samuel came looking to anoint him?  Nothing.  He was out in the fields looking after his father’s sheep; meanwhile, his father was putting before Samuel, David’s seven, older, better-looking brothers.

Whenever I’m waiting, it’s tempting for me to think that the reason I am not receiving is because I’m not working hard enough to get it, whatever “it” may be.

The problem is, I don’t see any evidence in Scripture that this perspective is correct. How was David working to receive God’s anointing?

What was Moses doing to ready himself to be the one to lead God’s people out of Egypt when God spoke to him in the burning bush? (He was living a quiet life in the desert.) What was Saul doing to become the first missionary to the Gentiles when God blinded him on the road to Damascus?  (He was on his way to persecute more Christians!)

And yet, I use and believe Christian cliches like, “Do your best, and let God do the rest.” Or, “God helps those who help themselves.”  I’m inclined tell my children, my husband, or my friends, Trust God, but for heaven’s sake, don’t just sit there and do nothing!  What do you think, God is just going to drop ________ [fill in the blank] in your lap?

But, when I look to God’s Word, I find that He works his will regardless of what his people do (or don’t do).  He executes his providential plans with or without our human “help.”

Why is it so hard for me to believe this, then?  Am I afraid that if I trust God, I’ll become lazy?  Do I think that if I encourage my children or my husband to believe God is sovereign in all of his ways, they will stop working hard?

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t have goals in life, or strive to achieve them, but as a Christian, my motivation for putting in my best effort as an instructor, as a wife or as a mother, is not to earn God’s blessings.  No, I ought to work hard in these vocations because the Bible says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord.” (Colossians 3:23).

Besides, I could put all of my energy towards achieving one thing while God’s plans for me are completely different!

Is it presumptuous to put myself in the same category as Bible greats like David and Paul?  Indeed, God’s plans for me are likely a lot less earth-shattering.  However, these Bible “greats” were not as heroic as I sometimes like to think of them.  In fact, they were sinners, just like me, whom God chose, not based on their own merit or abilities, but based on his own mysterious intentions.

It is actually more prideful to say, God needs my help on this one.  Or, God won’t work his purposes in my life until I first do, A, B and C.  And again, using the Bible as our guide, things usually don’t go so well when folks try to take matters into their own hands.

The comfort that I have taken from David’s story, and so many others like it in the Bible, is that if I am honoring God in my daily walk, I can’t miss His will for me.  Neither can I earn it.  

When it comes to waiting on God, then, I will remember that there’s no meeting Him halfway.  Instead, I will work diligently and responsibly at the tasks he places before me each day.   I will seek Him out persistently in prayer and in His Word.  And I will wait, placing 100 percent of my trust in him–no “if’s, and’s, or but’s.”

From now on, when I feel tempted to use a cliche, I think I’ll try this one: “Let go and let God.”

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. (Proverbs 19:21) 

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Comments

  1. Henry Scarano says:

    Heather, That’s the only way to live a free and honoring life True freedom is when you know who’s care you are

    really in and you can love honestly without any concerns as to whether or not you will be loved back It’s

    the purest kind of love , without looking to self and knowing that it’s His work and pleasure to conform you

    into the image of His dear son , so He receives all the glory , that He alone deserves My goal and His

    purpose is less of me and more of Him, until self is completely eliminated and only Christ is visible ..

    Of course that’s what eternity is for , that’s not even long enough considering who, and what, He has to work

    with Then again all things are possible with God::)) Thank you for your insightfulness and

    encouragement.. Love, Dad.. PS I’m coming to your house 9/8/13 , booked and ready to fly .

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