Lessons on Waiting from King David and George Muller

King David playing the harp

My life has been in a transitional stage for the past three years…three years which have seemed like 30. I’ve been waiting on God’s bold declaration saying, “Here’s the course I’m taking you through, turn here!” I know I’m going in the right direction, I just have very little idea where it’s leading me. I know in my heart what I would like to see on the path ahead, and I believe it’s what God is calling me toward, but I don’t know how far up the road it is or what turns I need to take along the way. So, I continue on the path and I wait for the horizon to reveal God’s plan.

Lessons from King David

In this waiting, I was reminded of King David, so I immersed myself into his story. As Saul, the first King of Israel, began wavering in his faith and acting against God’s will, the prophet Samual was called to anoint another king. He was led to the eight sons of Jesse wherein the youngest, least likely candidate was chosen.

David served Saul during a time when Saul was completely out of sorts. God’s spirit was taken from him and David was the only one with the gift to calm him. Eventually Saul became maddeningly jealous of David’s success as a soldier in his army…and probably of God’s spirit which now anointed David rather than himself. So, David ran and hid. Eventually, David’s courage grew and found himself in a situationtwice – where he had the opportunity to end the waiting and kill Saul. However, he chose not to manipulate God’s plan, walking away from the temptation and continued to wait on God’s timing. This was a pivotal time for David, who once ran from Saul, now had control over evil because of his choice to trust in God. He was no longer afraid of Saul.

I’m tempted all the time to manipulate my situation, to rush into the present and grab my desires through my own timing, efforts, and abilities. I don’t and I can’t. I, like David, know that I will never be satisfied with my life knowing that it was not God’s righteous plan that got me there. Instead, David and I trust and wait, as aggravating as the waiting might be.

Eventually Saul’s control over his own destiny cornered him and he fell on his own sword. The throne over Israel was free…or was it? No. David still had to wait until Saul’s household was defeated and surrendered to God’s anointed. Only after all were surrendered, was David able to truly take his rightful place on the throne of God’s will for his life. So, first David surrendered to God’s will…over and over again…and then the people surrendered their kingdom’s rule to God’s anointed.

As I was reflecting on David’s long period of waiting for the fulfillment of God’s call for his life, it occurred to me that God’s story is full of waiting.

Lessons from God’s Story

Noah waited for the flood.
Abraham and Sarah waited for their son, Isaac.
Jacob waited to have Rachel for his wife.
David waited for his place on the throne, through which the Savior would descend.
God’s people waited for our Savior.
We wait for Jesus to return.

And in all that waiting, we wait for each little piece of God’s plan to be fulfilled in our lives.

This became very apparent to me in reading The Autobiography of George Muller. He was a man, like David, after God’s heart. His journey to meet Jesus, like many of us, was messy, but he grew full of compassion for God’s people. He wanted to bring God’s truth to all who would listen.

George had a special calling to children, particularly orphans in 19th century England. Instead of petitioning the needs of God’s children to other believers, though, he fell to his knees and daily brought the needs of his family and the orphan children to God alone. He prayed and God answered.

“My wife and I had the grace to take the Lord’s commandment in Luke 12:33 literally, ‘Sell that ye have, and give alms,’ We never regretted taking that step. God blessed us abundantly as He taught us to trust in Him alone. When we were down to our last few shillings, we told Him about our needs and depended on Him to provide. He never failed us.

“On November 18, 1830, our money was reduced to about eight shillings. When I was praying with my wife in the morning, I was led to ask the Lord for money. Four hours later, a sister said to me, ‘Do you want any money?’

“I replied, ‘I told the brethren when I gave up my salary that I would tell the Lord only about my wants.’

“She said, ‘But He has told me to give you some money. About two weeks ago I asked Him what I should do for Him, and He told me to give you some money. Last Saturday the thought came again powerfully to my mind and has not left me since…

“…In June brother Craik and I went to Torquay to preach. When I came home, my wife had about three shillings left. We waited upon the Lord, but no money came. The next morning, we were still waiting on the Lord and looking for deliverance. We had only a little butter left for breakfast, sufficient for a visiting brother and a relative. We did not mention our circumstances to them so that they would not be made uncomfortable.

“After the morning prayer meeting, our brother unexpectedly opened the offering box and gave me the money. He told me that he and his wife could not sleep last night because they thought that we might need money. I had repeatedly asked the Lord for the money but received nothing. But when I prayed that the Lord would impress it on the brother that we needed money, he opened the box and gave it to me.”

George shares that first he saw God meet the needs in small ways and as his faith grew, so did the length of waiting and the grandness of God’s answer to his prayers. At the end of the autobiography, we learn that by the year 1860 George’s ministry served over 1,000 orphans at one time. He never drew a salary or asked anyone for money. He never spent money he didn’t have. He never had a mortgage or went into any kind of debt. He just prayed, was faithful to God’s call, and waited. Sometimes George had to wait for years before God granted his needs to move forward with His call.

I began to pray in this way halfway through reading this book. In August I prayed that God would double the business at my husband’s mechanic shop. Two weeks later – and pretty much ever since – business was more consistent than it had been all year. September was our most profitable month.

Why is Waiting Worth It?

But still I wait. My life remains in an uncertain transition between jobs, income, how I spend my time, and when we’ll be able to start a family. I was thinking about this driving down the road listening to some music when a song from my college days popped into my head that I hadn’t heard in several years. This song, “Hungry,” by Kathryn Scott, spoke a truth that nourished my soul:

Hungry I come to You
For I know You satisfy
I am empty but I know
Your love does not run dry
So I wait for You
So I wait for You

I’m falling on my knees
Offering all of me
Jesus You’re all
This heart is living for

Broken I run to You
For Your arms are open wide
I am weary but I know Your touch
Restores my life
So I wait for You
So I wait for You

Like David, I’m hungry to know God, I’m longing to be filled by knowing that my life is fulfilling God’s call, and I’m weary for the waiting. No matter how hard the struggle during the journey, I know that God’s love is no less and through my faithfulness He will provide in His perfect timing.

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