Israel had begged for a king, and God had allowed it. He chose a man the people would have been proud of. Tall, dark and handsome, he was the ideal candidate. But the people rejected him. Samuel presented him to the people, and they said, “Are you kidding? No way will Saul become king.”
Next time we see Saul, he is not leading the country, but plowing the fields. I wonder if he doubted God’s call. I wonder if he went over and over that scene with the wizened old prophet and considered insanity. I wonder if he felt foolish. He certainly didn’t feel convicted enough to fight for the place God had promised him. Instead, he went back to work.
It wasn’t until “God’s spirit came upon him in power,” there in the middle of plowing a field that he felt compelled to act. When he heard the news of countrymen under attack, he burned with anger and acted swiftly to assemble an army and sweep in to the rescue. He behaved like a king in that moment, and the people loved him for it. He finally became their king.
David received the same call on his life. Israel was his. He was God’s chosen one. But Saul was still on the throne. And David was hardly more than a boy. And Saul was trying to kill him. I wonder what confusion assaulted him in the space between the call and the fulfillment.
Sarah was creeping up on the century mark. She must have given up the dream of holding a precious baby of her own decades ago. God had promised her husband descendants more vast than the stars in the sky, but he must have meant figuratively. I wonder what doubts assailed her in the space between the promise of an heir and the birth of her only son Isaac.
We are all well aware that God’s timing and our timing don’t always line up perfectly. We’ve experienced it in our own lives time and time again. Many times God whispers promises, or plants dreams and we see nothing. No results. No call backs. No anything. Does lack of results invalidate promises?
Ask Saul. Ask David. Ask Sarah. God came through, despite the space between. Hold on. “abide in me and I will abide in you,” Jesus said. Hold on.
I promise my children dinner every night. Every night I enter the kitchen and begin preparing food. And when my kids were a bit younger, most nights at least one child, faint with exaggerated hunger would sprawl at my feet begging for food. My track record is a good one. I have always provided something. I’ve been known to present popcorn, yogurt and carrot sticks a meal. But they always get something to eat. But still they cry and wail because this may be the one time I fail them.
They lose hope in the space between the promise of supper and the act of eating it. They don’t take into account that I am busy in the kitchen getting thing ready.
Ever wonder what is going on in heaven between now and what's next? I wager God's not going to let us down this time either.
Doing our best in the short term might mean returning to a menial job when you feel called to something better. It may mean working for an enemy. It may mean knitting another pair of booties for someone else’s newborn bundle of joy….
Just remember, God is cooking up something amazing in the long term.