BE PATIENT WHILE GOD BUILDS
The Upward Look, by Jon Forrest
Be Patient While God Builds
A first-grade teacher was having a difficult day. It had rained that entire day and the children couldn’t go out for recess, so they got more and more restless and hyperactive as the day wore on. The teacher couldn’t wait for the bell to ring at 3 o’clock. About 2:45 she saw it was still raining, and so she decided to start getting the kids ready for dismissal. She sorted out their boots and raincoats and started helping get them on. Finally, they were ready to go, all except for one little boy whose boots were just too small for his feet. There were no zippers or straps, and it took every last ounce of strength she had to get them on.
When at last she did get them on, she straightened up with a sigh of relief. That’s when the little boy looked down at his feet and said, "Teacher, you know what? These boots aren’t mine!"
She didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, but being the good teacher she was, she smiled bravely and started taking them off. And they were harder to get off than they were to put on. She yanked and tugged until finally the boots were off. That’s when the little boy smiled at her and said, "They’re not my boots. They’re my sister’s and she let wear them today!"
Have you ever had one of those days?
David had one of those decades. No one ever had his patience tested more than the shepherd boy who was anointed King of Israel. One day, out of the blue, he was called in from the pasture, walked into a crowd of people, was presented to the great Prophet of Israel, Samuel and told by the great man to kneel down. Suddenly, a flask of olive oil is dumped on his head and the Prophet proclaims him King of Israel.
Can you imagine the confusion and chaos that must have flooded this 12- to 15-year-old boy’s mind? Even more confusing must have been the realization that, while he had been anointed in the name of the Lord, Saul was still on the throne. He did not know how long it would take for him to assume the position God had given him. He only knew that God had chosen him for this mission. It would be more than 10 years before David would receive the crown of Judah (part of the kingdom). It would be another 7 before he would reign over the entire united nation of Israel. But David was never given any indication as to how long it would take.
There were several events that occurred in David’s life that could have seemed to be the right time for him to take the Crown. When he killed Goliath the Giant, David could have wondered, “is it now?” But it wasn’t. Complicating this test of his patience had to be the turning of King Saul against him. Saul’s jealous desire to take David’s life was certainly a test of his patience. Shouldn’t God have simply knocked off Saul and given David the throne? The first time David spared King Saul’s life, Saul should have handed over the crown, but he didn’t. The second time he refused to kill Saul, when he had the opportunity, Saul even declared that David would be his replacement in front of both men’s armies. But did David take over? No! Again his patience was put to the test. It wasn’t until Saul and three of his sons had died in battle that things happened. David asked the Lord if it was time for him to go to Hebron and the Lord gave him the affirmative reply. then David would be anointed a second time, but only as King of Judah (2 Samuel 2).
Even then, there would take over 7 years of waiting for a series of events to occur before he would be anointed a third time and assume the throne of the entire nation.
But David clung to the promise of the Lord’s anointing. He never rushed things along. He waited on the Lord’s timing. He knew that God had big plans for him. Waiting paid off. David eventually became the great King, but not one minute before the Lord ordained it.
Had he assumed the throne too early, David would not have been prepared. God chose his servant to be King, but spent time building him into the leader that would be successful. God’s plan went much further than David’s rule over Israel. His plan was to extend the rule of David through the coming of the Messiah, hundreds of years later. Christ would be a descendent from the line of David and reign forever. David didn’t know why God took so long, but God did. We can’t fathom God’s plan. We must simply trust Him to get it right. And he always does.
God has a plan for you.
He can use you greatly if you don’t try to jump ahead of his timing. Perhaps you have been enduring the weight of a burden that seems too much to bear. With God’s help you will one day overcome. When you do, life will be sweeter than you ever thought. You will be prepared to take up the mantel of God’s plan for your life.
Wait on Him! Be patient! Remember that great little slogan, “Please be patient! God isn’t finished with me yet.” Sometimes it isn’t the others that need to be patient with us. It is you and I who need to be patient and wait on the Lord. We do not know what He is doing for us with our circumstances, but God does.
Speaking of patience, finally this Sunday we will conclude our series of messages from the theme When God Builds a King How a lowly shepherd became a great King. The sermon title is The King is Built based on 2 Samuel chapters 2-5. I hope you will join us for the conclusion of this exciting series.
Waiting with you on Him,