November 16, 2016
When It’s Time to Stop Moping
God addressed Samuel: “So, how long are you going to mope over Saul…Fill your flask with anointing oil and get going (>1 Samuel 16:1 The Message)
Friend to Friend
Have you ever been so discouraged that you just wanted to stay in bed and pull the covers up over your head? Maybe that’s where you are right now.
I’ve hidden under the covers a time or two myself. OK, well maybe more than two.
So how do we venture out? How do we get over the discouragement and get going again?
There’s a story in the Bible that helps me when I feel mopey. (You don’t mind if I get in the Bible a little do you? I didn’t think so.)
A few years after the Israelites made it to the Promised Land, they grew tired of being ruled by God through the prophets. They wanted to have a king like all the other nations.
Samuel was the ruling prophet at the time, and he told the people all the reasons having a king was a bad idea. They persisted in their demands, and eventually God allowed them to choose a king. “They are not rejecting you,” God assured Samuel. “They are rejecting Me.”
The people picked a man named Saul because he was tall, dark, and handsome. I’m not kidding. It’s right there in black and white. Saul reluctantly accepted the kingship, was anointed by the Holy Spirit, and totally depended on God for his new position.
But after a while, Saul decided being a king wasn’t so hard after all. He disobeyed and dishonored God by taking matters into his own hands. (Never a good idea, I might add). As a result, God snatched away Saul’s kingship and removed his anointing.
Samuel was so discouraged over Saul’s failure; he went to bed and pulled the covers up over his head. He was disappointed in Saul, and felt sorry for himself.
Now this is important. If I were sitting right there with you, I’d stand up in a chair and read this out loud. Here we go. One day God said, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel” (1 Samuel 16:1 NIV).
I love Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase: “So, how long are you going to mope over Saul?” (MSG)
Mope? Yep. That’s a good word.
God asks you and me the same question: How long will you mope because life hasn’t turned out like you thought it would. How long?
I don’t mean to make little of any of the painful or discouraging situations in your life. I’ve had them too. When my child died before she was born, I wasn’t sure I’d ever get out of bed again. Didn’t really want to.
But here’s what I know today: No matter how painful or discouraging the circumstances of life may be, God never intends for you to get stuck there. You should never put a period where God puts a comma.
There’s always more of your story to be written. When you loosen the string holding the binding of your book tightly shut, and give God a free hand to continue the narrative of your life, things which the eye has not seen and the ear have not heard and have not entered the mind of man will be yours.
God goes on to say to Samuel: “Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king” (1 Samuel 16:1, emphasis added).
At some point in our moping about, God comes to us and says, “Enough already. Get up. Get going. Be on your way. I’ve got something for you to do. Your life is not over. The story has more chapters to be written. Let go of your discouragement and take hold of the next adventure I have planned for you.”
The question is: What will you say?
Samuel was terrified, but God assured him: I will show you what to do. You are to anoint for me the one I indicate” (1 Samuel 16:2–3, emphasis added).
I will show you what to do. And that’s all God expects of me and of you—take the first step of obedience. Get up and get going. He will take care of the rest.
I love the next sentence in the story: “Samuel did what God told him” (1 Samuel 16:4).
Ah, the key to experiencing the adventurous life of a thriving faith . . . the faith you always longed for.
So what about you? Are you ready to get up and get going?
Lord, I’ll admit. Sometimes I mope. When things don’t turn out like I want them to, I put on my long face, slump my shoulders, and drag my feet. Nobody wants to be around me when I’m like that. I don’t even like to be around me when I’m like that. Today, I am making a decision to not be a moper. When life doesn’t turn out like I hoped it would, I will see it as Your provision or protection. I trust in Your sovereignty for my life, even when I don’t understand.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
What are you discouraged about today?
Would you say that you are somewhat stuck because of it?
What do you think God is telling you to do?
Are you willing to take the first step of faith to move forward?
More from the Girlfriends
Today’s devotion came from my latest book, Take Hold of the Faith You Long For: Let Go, Move Forward, Live Bold. It’s all about how to get unstuck in your faith. Learn how to let go of all that holds you hostage to a “less than” life, and take hold of all that Jesus has done for you and placed in you…the faith you’ve always longed for. Check it out at www.takeholdthebook.comwhere you can download a free chapter and watch a video book trailer. The book also comes with a Bible study guide.
Click here to learn more about hosting a Girlfriends in God conference in your area or having one of the GiGs speak at your next women's event.
Originally published Wednesday, 16 November 2016.