Monday, September 5, 2011

"Earthquakes and Kings"

Spirit & Truth # 240
“Earthquakes and Kings”

By Rev. Greg Smith

Samuel Anoints Samuel as king of Israel  ""

            In his song “Beautiful Boy,” John lennon said, “Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.”  Lennon advises patience in life—but patience is often something that’s hard to come by.  We want to see our plans work out—and we want it now.  But God has other plans.

            2 Samuel 9:1-10:1 tells the story of a young man named Saul who is sent to recover his father’s lost donkeys.  Saul goes from village to village looking for the errant animals.  Finally his companion suggests that they visit the local prophet Samuel, who might tell them where the donkeys are.  Meanwhile God has already told Samuel that Saul is coming.  Saul is God’s choice to be the first king of Israel—even though he doesn’t know it yet.  Samuel has been planning a feast, and has reserved the choicest piece of meat for Samuel.  When Saul meets Samuel, the prophet reveals that he already knows that Saul is looking for his father’s donkeys—that they are all right, and have been recovered.  Samuel invites Saul to the banquet and honors him with the choice meat.  The next day, he tells him that what really brought him to the prophet is the will of God—for the Lord has chosen him to be the ruler of Israel.  Samuel pours oil on Saul’s head and anoints him as king.

            “Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.”  When Samuel set out to look for his father’s donkeys, he had no idea that he’d end up visiting a seer.  When he saw the prophet, he was clueless that the next day, he’d be anointing as king.  But God’s plans were bigger than Saul’s plans.

            Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV) says, “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’” God’s plans are bigger than my plans, too.  I was reminded of that recently.

            The morning of August 23, my wife and I were on the way to visit somebody in the hospital.  I was off my schedule, and since we were running later than expected, we stopped at a restaurant for lunch.  Just before we left, we bumped into someone who was on the way into the restaurant—my dad and stepmom, whom I had not seen for  over two years.  (We won’t get into all the reasons.  Suffice it to say that the distance has been their choice, and not mine.)  What a strange coincidence that was!  (Actually, I don’t believe in coincidences—I call them “Godincidences.”)  “Why don’t you join us?” they said.  And not long after we sat down, the earth shook, with a 5.8 magnitude tremor.

            Of course, I don’t really believe the earthquake was my fault.  But God used the earthquake in my life to underscore that His plans for me are what happens while I’m busy making other plans.  What if I hadn’t been running late that day?  What if we’d picked a different restaurant?  What if we’d payed a little less attention to who was coming in the restaurant door?  We would have missed a much-needed reunion!  The earthquake just reminded me that God had engineered the “chance” meeting.

            You probably haven’t recently gone looking for your father’s missing donkeys.  Maybe God won’t highlight His actions in your life with an earthquake.  But the next time life takes you on an unexpected adventure—just go with it!  Watch the strange and wonderful events that God will bring into your day.  Trust that His ways are greater than your ways, and look forward to your next “Godincidence.” 

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