I love this verse I came across today: “Samuel was displeased with their request and went to the Lord for guidance.” [1 Samuel 8:6] One verse, THREE takeaways…
To me, the first six words are quite liberating. Who requests things of you? Bosses? Coworkers? Peers (in the name of pressure)? Old friends? New friends? Patients? Addicts? Students? What I like in this verse is the instinct to request; but also the permissible response to be displeased by it. People request a variety of things from me. Sometimes my human-heather is displeased. The old adage is true that we can’t please everyone–which means displeasure is sometimes normal and ok.
But the second five words are important too. Samuel was displeased with his people’s request. But he didn’t throw shade on his people. He didn’t throw-up gossip on his squad. He didn’t vent to social media with subliminal-messages. He went to God. Did he go bananas, throw up and vent to God? Maybe. But that’s OK–God can handle it, He’s got the big(gest) shoulders. I need to go to God with requests of others–especially if I’m struggling with them. Because God is NOT struggling with them, so He is truly the perfect source of stable and sane help.
Which leads to my last takeaway… Samuel asked God to guide him with the requests and his displeasure. Nowhere in this text is there subtext that Samuel wasn’t sure or was iffy if God would respond. He went to God fully anticipating God would give him guidance. Do you? Do I? These last two words raised my game in anticipating God to give me guidance. To not add worry IF God will guide to my impending need FOR God. To have CONFIDENCE in his GUIDANCE!
One small verse, depths of application. I hope this encourages someone today.