As a Lenten practice during this season, clergy and leaders in the church from youth to elders will be sharing their devotions.
Scripture: 1 Samuel 12:12-18
Key verse: (12:16) Now therefore take your stand and see this great thing that the Lord will do before your eyes.
Reflection: Pause. Take a moment. Breathe deeply. In this season of Lent, I hope you have felt an invitation to pause. Step away from the busyness and breathe. It’s so easy to get caught up in the chaos of the world, to feel as if productivity is our greatest asset. But the more we embrace productivity as our ideal, we begin to put worldly standards above God’s standards. We start to do things not in response to God’s call but out of our own desire to achieve. We find ourselves impatient with God’s timing and instead make up our own.
This is the reminder that Samuel gives the Israelites in our text for today. The Israelites have asked for a king. In response God has chosen and anointed Saul to be king of the Israelites. But Samuel cautions the Israelites that the Lord continues to have plans for them, and will continue to be an active presence in their lives even though they have a new leader. Samuel reminds them to stand and see the ways that God works in the world. There have been plenty of examples of the Israelites turning to their own understanding rather than God’s. If Saul and the Israelites want to succeed, they must rely on God – not themselves.
In the midst of a season that has continued to feed our anxiety and frustration, it’s so easy for us to think that all the troubles in the world fall to our hands. Passages like the one for today remind us to pause, reflect, and observe. How might God be at work in your life already? How can rest be a renewal that allows you to participate in God’s work in the world? Will you be able to notice the “great thing that the Lord will do before your eyes”? I pray this season of lent will offer you these opportunities – for rest, renewal, and reflection.
Prayer: Faithful God, through the gift of your stories, we can experience your great love. Help us to learn to take a stand and see your presence rather than acting on our own. Lead us in a time of renewal to hear your words to us and follow your call. Amen.
Author: Savannah Demuynck
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].