First Congregational Church Winter Park
Daily Meditation: "When God Is Tending Sheep"
Saturday, September 19, 2020
"Then God said, Rise and anoint David; this is the one. . . and from that day on, the Spirit of God came powerfully upon David." - 1 Samuel 16:12-13
Samuel is out there looking for prospects: who could be Israel’s next king? He’s got his eye on Jesse’s sons, and after Samuel goes over all the candidates he asks Jesse if there are any more sons for him to meet. He waits, and after a time he discovers that there’s one more out tending sheep whom Jesse hasn’t presented to Samuel yet: David.
After a time, God says to Samuel that David is the one, and Samuel rises and anoints him. The rest of David’s story is the stuff of scriptural legend.
But first, there was waiting. God’s presence, God’s unfolding of history isn’t always immediate or apparent. David wasn’t there, and Samuel didn’t know about him until all of Jesse’s other sons had been introduced to him. David could have easily been overlooked. Thankfully, Samuel was wise enough to be patient, ask questions, and be willing to wait for the answers.
Our relationship with God is just like that. What we seek isn’t always immediately visible. We have to continue to ask questions and be patient enough to have the answers come to us in their own way and in their own time. We tend to want clarity and purpose immediately. When they don’t always come on our time schedule, we lose patience. At our worst, we lose faith.
Thankfully, Samuel reminds us that when we continue to ask, when we’re patient enough to let the answers come even when they aren’t immediately apparent because they’re “out tending sheep,” we discover that God is indeed still speaking and the response to our questions is there for us to find.
God Of All Time, grant us the courage to ask our questions, the patience to await your response, and the faith to discern your still speaking voice when you speak it.