“The LORD said to Samuel, ‘How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go. I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.’”
1 Samuel 16:1
It seems that Samuel got stuck. In disappointment, frustration, discouragement, anger maybe. A sense of righteousness from the Lord’s earlier warnings might have been there. Whatever combinations of emotions he was experiencing, the mourning went deep.
And Samuel sat in it.
To the point where the Lord said, “How long?” “Get up, get going.” “I’m not done yet; I already have someone picked out for this.”
I see in this a reminder that God’s plan keeps going. He isn’t surprised. He isn’t distressed. Saddened and sorrowful, yes, but from the standpoint of the One who is all-knowing. He already has it all prepared. He’s already written the story and woven in all the details – including the ones we didn’t see coming.
So yes, feel it. Allow the emotions to come, because denying what’s there only makes them fester. But then look to the Lord and keep going. Keep looking ahead. He knows the sorrow, He feels it and has compassion on you to the point of storing your tears in a bottle (Psalm 56:8). Because you are precious to Him. He knows how hard this is, and He wants you to know there is more. There is purpose and light and hope, now and always, because God is guiding this path and will establish your steps in faithfulness and steadfast love as you follow Him.
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you…And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
1 Peter 5:6-7,10-11
“I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber…
The LORD is your keeper;
the LORD is your shade on your right hand…
The LORD will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.”