1. "And David said to his men, ‘Every man gird on his sword.'"
I Samuel 25: 13, Amplified Bible
2. "After this, David inquired of the Lord, saying, ‘Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah?' And the Lord said to him, ‘Go up.'"
II Samuel 2: 1, Amplified Bible
"Rashness Versus Patience"
"Patience is the companion of wisdom."
Augustine of Hippo
Are there certain specific incidents in my life where I have learned to be patient?
How has learning to wait on God encouraged me in my daily walk with God?
"Possess your soul with patience."
"We must wait for God, long, meekly, in the wind and wet, in the thunder and lightning, in the cold and the dark. Wait, and He will come."
Frederick W. Faber
If you were to meet my husband, Jim, like many individuals who know him, you could easily come to the conclusion he is the most mild-mannered person you know. However, if you told him you thought he was very subdued, he'd laugh for a long time. This is because Jim has struggled all his life with his temper. (He told me I could share this fact about himself!) Please don't get me wrong -- Jim isn't a violent person -- he can just get extremely frustrated and "blow his top."
As time has passed, I've watched him give this part of his emotional nature to his heavenly Father and I can verify that it is rare indeed to see my "sweetie" upset now. One thing Jim has told me repeatedly is that the stories in the Bible of individuals who struggled with self-control of their own emotions has given him a great deal of courage in his own walk with God. Jim especially identifies with Moses who battled his temper throughout his life. But he also has found David to be a source of encouragement. Not only did both of these Biblical heroes find themselves challenged but they both found that their Father in heaven didn't reject them when they were less than perfect -- and to this all I can say is, "Thank You, Father!"
As we look at our two texts for today, we find there were two sides to David's emotions. In his heart was the "rash" David who, when offended, ordered his men to strap on their swords and prepare to murder innocents who were acting only on the order of their maniacal boss, Nabal. David carried within him the trait that caused him to demand his own way and to take an immediate course of action without consideration of the results.
I believe it is fair to say many of us have the ability to act just as David did -- impatient and demanding. I know my Jim said he could relate to the rash behavior of David on more than one occasion -- especially when a driver in another car cuts you off, slams on their brakes and shouts obscene words at you. I think you understand exactly what I'm talking about. There are a myriad of pesky things we do to one another in our lives which can easily unleash an explosion of rash behavior. And so we strap on our verbal swords, or in some cases physical swords and we become threatening, rude, and sadly, even violent. We act before thinking. We speak before understanding.
But as we see in the life of David, there is a solution to our rash, impatient behavior. For the very same David who could order his men to strap on their swords, also learned to "wait upon the Lord."
Heavenly patience, filling David's life is seen so clearly in the way he waited for years after being anointed king to even think about taking his place on the throne of Israel. Time after time, David could, as other Biblical people did, take the throne by the power of his own hand. He could easily have led a revolt against Saul and won. David had captured the hearts of the people -- it wouldn't have been difficult for him to physically capture the throne. Instead, in II Samuel 2:1, we are told that before David acted at all, he "inquired of the Lord."
This got me to thinking a lot about my own behavior. What if my first action in anything I did was to inquire of the Lord? What if, before I spoke, I asked God to please guide my lips? As Solomon, David's son wrote in Ecclesiastes 10: 12 (Amplified Bible), "The words of a wise (woman's) mouth are gracious and win (her) favor." This is the result of inquiring of God before we speak.
The same results comes when our actions have been guided by our Father's hand and are not the result of our own rash behavior. As one author observed, "Nothing is right for a Christian if it is not God's will for her."
This is the lesson we learn in David's life -- rash behavior versus patience. Doing our own thing versus waiting on the Lord.
When I was in high school, I had an after school job in the local hospital in the laboratory. One of the technicians in the Blood Bank was fabulous at doing embroidery work. She wanted to make me a gift for high school graduation so she brought a sheet that contained several designs. I chose a basket of flowers which she embroidered for me.
I remember checking each day as she worked on the project during her breaks. Stitch-by-stitch she worked. It seemed as though it took forever, but when the waiting was over -- what a beautiful design came into view. I still have this framed treasure hanging in my house today. It's a reminder that patient waiting brings forth beauty! That's our Father's way!
"‘Take your needle, my child, and work at your pattern; it will come out a rose by and by. "Life is like that; one stitch at a time taken patiently, and the pattern will come out all right like embroidery."
Oliver Wendell Holmes
"Lead, kindly light, amid encircling gloom,
Lead Thou me on;
The night is dark, and I am far from home;
Lead Thou me on.
Keep Thou my feet;
I do not ask to see the distant scene:
One step enough for me."
John Henry Newman
"But those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall lift their wings and mount up close to God as eagles; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired."
Isaiah 40: 31, Amplified Bible
Dorothy Valcarcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus is available where Christian books are sold. They can also be purchased through Paypal at www.transformationgarden.com or by calling our office toll-free at 1-888-397-4348.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.