I’m On My Way
By Wally Odum
We love it when things go smoothly without complications. Sadly, life isn’t always like that. Some obstacles are so imposing that they potentially paralyze us. If we allow them, they could hinder our progress and keep us bound to our yesterdays.
Samuel was an Old Testament prophet who had anointed Saul as Israel’s first king. When Saul proved to be unfaithful, God replaced him with David, the son of Jesse. That turn of events devastated Samuel. He had loved Saul and saw him as God’s answer to Israel’s future. When Saul failed, Samuel was immobilized until God spoke to him. What God said is a lesson for all of us who have been hurt.
“The LORD said to Samuel, ‘How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? 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).
“How long will you mourn?” doesn’t mean that we can’t express our emotions. It does mean that God doesn’t want us to mourn indefinitely. If Samuel had not loved Saul, there wouldn’t have been such a sense of heartfelt pain. Knowing the end of Saul’s story can cloud the fact that he began with humility. One of Samuel’s messages to Saul reflected that:
“Samuel said, ‘Although you were once small in your own eyes, did you not become the head of the tribes of Israel? The LORD anointed you king over Israel’ ” (1 Samuel 15:17).
It is especially painful to be hurt by someone we love. Samuel’s affection for Saul would have contributed significantly to his grief. From what God said to him, Samuel had undoubtedly been paralyzed by what had happened to Saul.
What God wanted Samuel to know, and what God wants us to know, is that His plans are not ultimately thwarted by anyone’s choices. What God said to Samuel, He says to each of us, “Dry your tears and keep moving.”
G. Campbell Morgan once commented that what we do in a crisis depends on whether we see the difficulties in the light of God, or God in the shadow of the difficulties. Whatever painful experiences we go through, God is still God and He can still give us victory.
The problem of being locked into our past can lead to our losing our sense of our future. When circumstances threaten to rob us of our progress, and frustrate the future God has planned for us, it’s important to keep moving. Have we all been hurt? Absolutely! If we’ve never shed tears because of the pain we’ve felt, we need help. But, we don’t stop there.
It might sound harsh to us while we’re hurting, but the best advice we can possibly hear is, “How long will you mourn…be on your way.” We can’t do that while we are paralyzed in our past. God has a plan for tomorrow and wants us to take part in it.
© Wally Odum 2011, used with permission.
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Pastor Wally Odum has been in ministry for 30 years and loves to share the Gospel. He brings a relevant, inspirational approach to the Bible. Wally values relevance, but he also values authenticity. His goal is to make Biblical truth relevant to the lives of all who hear him. Visit Wally Odum's Website - www.wallyodum.com.
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