When you and I have problems in our lives that we desire the Lord to help us through, often we fail to have faith in what God can do. We only see the problem from our own point of view, and our understanding is terribly limited. We fail, especially when we do not remember what the Lord might be doing on the other side of our situation, the side we cannot see.
This thought hit me when thinking about the anointing of Saul as king over Israel. If you know the story, you know that Israel sinned against the Lord in their desire for a king. But God told Samuel the prophet that he would give them what they asked for. In truth, God will give Israel exactly the kind of king they wanted, handsome, tall, and strong. Of course, Israel did not ask for a godly king, and they would not get one in Saul.
The way that God brings Saul and Samuel together is what fascinates me. Saul’s father lost some donkeys. Saul and a friend when out looking for the animals. But they did not know that God was using those circumstances to bring them to the prophet, Samuel.
1 Samuel 9:15-17 – 15 Now the day before Saul came, the Lord had revealed to Samuel: 16 “Tomorrow about this time I will send to you a man from the land of Benjamin, and you shall anoint him to be prince over my people Israel. He shall save my people from the hand of the Philistines. For I have seen my people, because their cry has come to me.” 17 When Samuel saw Saul, the Lord told him, “Here is the man of whom I spoke to you! He it is who shall restrain my people.”
Samuel, for his part, was told by God to expect to meet Saul on a particular day in a particular town. ?And the Lord made it happen.
Here is where we might find encouragement. God was working on both sides of the issue to bring Samuel and Saul together at just the right place and in just the right time. God told Samuel that Saul would come to him. All Saul was doing was looking for donkeys, but God was moving in Samuel’s life to prepare to anoint Saul as king.
Consider when you pray for something like the salvation of a lost friend or a need that you deeply desire to have met. Do you remember that God is working on the side of the problem you cannot see? Do you remember that, while you are hunting down your lost donkeys, God might be moving someone into place to meet you and change your world? Do you remember that, when you want to witness to someone, the Lord might be doing things in their heart that you cannot see and may never learn about until eternity?
Friends, we should remember that our God is sovereign. God moves in ways we cannot imagine. He can move people’s circumstances to put them right where he wants them, even when we have no idea what he is doing. Let us trust the Lord. Let us pray in faith. Let us remember that God works out problems from more than one side.