One evening when Jessica was four years old, we sat hip to hip on the couch. She plopped her favorite book onto my lap. “Let’s read I Can Do It Myself!”
I rolled my eyes and sighed. “Jessica, pick something new. We’ve read this one a hundred
“No, Mommy. I like this one.” Of course, she did. How many times a day did she push me aside and say, “I can do it myself.” Jessica straightened the book, opened its cover and slid past the title page to the story.
Yawning from an exhausting day, I wanted to finish the book quicker than Jessica allowed me to read. Impatience prompted an idea. While finishing one page, I pressed the corners of the next two tightly together between my forefinger and thumb and turned them as if they were one page. My ploy worked for 60 seconds when a tiny hand grabbed the book.
“Mommy, you skipped pages!” Jessica thumbed through the story, found the pages I passed over, and shoved the book back in my lap. “There, read it right, Mommy.”
King Saul skipped pages, too. One day he tired of waiting for the prophet Samuel to conduct a burnt offering ceremony before going to battle with the Philistines. In his rush to conquer the enemy, Saul offered the sacrifice himself.
King Saul had become less God-centered and more Saul-centered. He surrendered less often to the Lord and more often to his agenda and schedule. As a result, Samuel announced to King Saul, “You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you…now your kingdom will not endure. The Lord has sought out a man after His own heart, and appointed him leader over His people.” (1 Samuel 13:13-14, NIV). The
mantle of leadership passed to King David.
As the author of our story, God calls us to specific purposes and instructs us how to follow. However, like Saul, although we begin that calling with excitement and obedience, our
enthusiasm can wane in the face of fear or resistance. In those moments we hasten to skip pages of the plan and push things along by our own effort and timetable. We fail to wait upon the Lord.
Saul’s impatience reminds us…avoid rushing to the end of the story God writes for us and, for heaven’s sake, don’t skip pages.
“Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?” (Galatians 3:3, NIV)
©2011 Gloria Ashby. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail.