As an avid reader, I am always looking for new and excitng things to read especially if I can learn something from what I’m reading. A few months ago I discovered a company called Alabaster. They make these really cool books of the bible with beautiful pictures to add vision to the books. I purchased one, fell in love and purchased a few more. Included in one of my purchases were a couple of books from the bible that the company refers to as manuscript bibles. In these particular books of the bible they take out the chapter and verse numbers so that the books read like an actual novel.
A few weeks ago I began reading the manuscript of 1 Samuel. Very interesting to say the least. I have enjoyed learning about Samuel and Saul again. The awesome thing about reading the bible several times and in different ways is that you give yourself the opportunity to grasp something different, to see something you didn’t see before. I’ve read the book of Samuel a few times prior, but this time around I learned a little bit more about how the choices we make can change the course of our plans or better yet, the plans God has for us.
While change, in most cases, is inevitable, how we handle certain situations and circumstances can have an overall impact on the plans God has for our lives. What I connected to most, so far, in the book of I Samuel was how the decision Saul made in Chapter 13 changed the course of his God’s plan for his life. Saul had already been anointed king. He was supposed to wait for Samuel to come meet him. Samuel was going to make a burnt offering, however, Samuel didn’t come at the exact time he said he would. Basically, Samuel was running a little late.
When the crowd that had gathered with Saul began to grumble and complain about having to wait. Instead of Saul trying to find a way to encourage them to wait, to remind them why they were waiting or even to consult God for direction, Saul decided to take it upon himself to make the burnt offering ultimately changing the course of God’s plan for him.
While I can suggest now that Saul probably should have encouraged the people, followed Samuel’s word and waited or even consulted with God before giving in to the crowd, I can’t even begin to count the number of times I made that same mistake myself. I knew in my heart what I needed to do, I knew what God told me to do but…instead I listened to the crowd. At the time, maybe it was because I didn’t want to lose my friends, maybe it was because it didn’t want to stand out or maybe it was because I simply wanted to have my way. What ever the reason, like Saul, I made a choice outside the will of God and I paid handsomely for it.
But also like Saul, when we make a not so good choice, God gives us the opportunity to get it right, to come back into alignment with his will and purpose for our lives. We just have to seize those opportunities and not get stuck in the mistake we made. For me, that is what being in a relationship with God is all about, learning from my mistakes, asking for forgiveness and shaking off the thought that my mistake is going to forever determine who I am in the eyes of my Father.
Allowing ourselves to believe that we are forever broken is where we have to move from. We can’t get stuck there! If as believers, we believe that God is all powerful, all knowing, grace filled and merciful, then we must also believe that he can be all of those things for us so that we don’t stay broken, we don’t stay angry, we don’t stay hurt and we don’t keep making the same mistakes.
Life is about change. It’s about growing and learning. It’s about living the best version of yourself with guidance and wisdom. Course changing is going to happen but it is up to us whether or not that course change is going to be a good one or one we’ll look back on with severe regret knowing we could have simply made a different choice.
Always looking forward…”)