PRESSURE!!!! We face it often – in our homes, in our jobs, and in our leadership. Pressure to make a decision. Pressure to deal with a situation. Pressure to fix a problem. Pressure to act. Pressure to find someone to fill that vacancy. Pressure to do it NOW!!!
Recently in my bible reading I read through the life of King Saul, found in 1 Samuel.
In one story of his life, found in chapter 13, the Israelites were about to go into battle against the Philistines. The Philistines were lined up with three thousand chariots, six thousand charioteers and soldiers “as numerous as the sand on the seashore”. That’s a lot of soldiers! The bible tells us the Israelites were “quaking with fear”, “hard pressed” and “hid in caves and thickets, among the rocks, and in pits and cisterns”. If I was an Israelite I think I would be joining them!!!
Samuel had instructed Saul to wait until he arrived before they offered a sacrifice and began the battle. They waited seven days until the time appointed, but Samuel didn’t arrive. The pressure was on Saul, and he watched as his army began to scatter.
Talk about pressure! I’d hate to be Saul and facing this situation. What did Saul do?
He decided he couldn’t wait anymore, and offered up the burnt sacrifice himself. Right on cue, as he was doing this, Samuel arrived. “What have you done?” asked Samuel.
What had Saul done? He had disobeyed a direct command – to wait until Samuel arrived. In his disobedience, he had taken matters into his own hands and acted, instead of putting his trust in God.
I felt challenged as I read this story. We are often under pressure as leaders, and it’s a big temptation to take matters into our own hands. Yet sometimes God calls us to wait, just as He had asked Saul to wait.
I’m not a fan of waiting. I don’t like waiting in queue to get petrol. I don’t like waiting to be served in the supermarket. I don’t like waiting while on hold to a government department. Sometimes I don’t even like waiting for the kettle to boil for my cup of tea!
What do we do when someone on our team resigns? When things aren’t going to plan? When our situation looks impossible? When we are under pressure?
I like taking action. I like fixing problems. I like doing something about the situation. Yes, often that is what God asks us to do.
Yet, sometime God calls us to wait. To be still and know that He is God. (Psalm 46:10)
What happens when we wait?
– Waiting makes us trust in God, not in ourselves
– Waiting gives us space to hear from God rather than taking matters into our own hands
– Waiting build character
While we wait God is working. His solution to our situation is always better than ours. Waiting is not easy. If God is calling you to wait, then be assured that He will not fail you. God is always on time.
Dear God. Help us to remember that you are sovereign in every situation in our lives. When you are asking us to wait, please help us to do so obediently, patiently and with trust in you. For the glory of your name. Amen
National Field Staff Manager