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
Who Is in Control?
“It’s been three years.” That’s what the mature churchgoer mourned at a recent gathering of his church friends. Church was the center of this man’s life, but it had been three long years since they had a consistent voice in the pulpit of his congregation. And it wasn’t for lack of trying to fill the void. One pastor after another was given the opportunity to serve this congregation. But each answer was the same, “No.”
Pastoral vacancies or leadership vacuums are never fun. If there is an empty seat at church, in the home, or around the conference table at work, we can flounder as we are directionless. Worse than directionless, we may even find life to be chaotic. Or we can find ourselves trying to drive forward while looking in the rear-view mirror instead of the windshield. “Oh, I wish dad was still here.” “Remember how good it was when our old boss was at the helm?” “Remember when…”
Your eye maybe sees that an aspect of your life is leaderless. But that’s not what God sees. When there is a void in leadership, it may just be God’s way of reminding us that he is the ultimate leader. God is still in control. He knows your needs and how he will meet those needs. That was the lesson God gave the prophet Samuel. Mourning the downfall of a king, Samuel had a hard time moving forward. But then God had to open his eyes, “How long will you mourn for Saul . . . I have chosen one of [Jesse’s] sons to be king” (1 Samuel 16:1).
“I have chosen.” What beautiful comfort we can find in that little pronoun. When we mourn the past or are fearful of the future, find comfort in God’s leadership. “I have chosen you to be my child… I have a plan for your future… I will work all things out for your good.” Find comfort in knowing that no matter what your eye sees, the Lord still decrees, “I am King.”
Lord, open my eyes to see that you are in control. Then give me confidence in your leadership. Amen.