It’s that time of year. The time of year when pumpkins get a make over with green paint, in an attempt to be transformed into a scary witch. The time of year when children rush door to door hoping to find their favorite candy bar and praying they don’t hit the house giving out dental floss and toothbrushes. The time of year when people spend countless hours running to different stores trying to pick out the perfect Halloween costume that will transform them from their every day selves into something that gives them a new found identity for just a few sacred hours.
I don’t usually get sucked up into the Halloween hoopla. I have the same tradition every year. A trip to the store to buy some candy corn that will satisfy my sugar craving. And a night spent indulging in my favorite Halloween movie, Hocus Pocus, yelling “A muck, a muck, a muck” with Sarah Jessica Parker and daydreaming about the man that will one day be smiling at my cuteness as I serenade him with the words “I put a smell on you, and now your mine, mine, mine, all mine!” Don’t judge me 🙂
Anyways, amidst all the Halloween craziness, I found it very ironic that the week people are running around searching for disguises, I stumbled across a passage in my quiet time speaking of that very thing. The passage I am referring to comes from 1 Samuel. After Saul’s disobedience to God, his unlawful sacrifice, and his attempt to end David’s life (even after he promised David he would stop coming after him), Saul cries out to God in distress but God does not answer him.
The story of Saul’s life is a great example of the constant battle between gratifying our flesh or honoring the Lord. At the beginning of Chapter 28, Saul does the lawful thing by putting the mediums and the spirits out of the land. It’s one of the few times in Samuel we see Saul doing the right thing. His attempt to do the right thing, was however quickly overshadowed when his impatience led to him making several impulsive decisions. After Saul cries out to the Lord and does not get an answer, he does what many of us do. Grasp on to whatever we think will bring us the comfort we seek when the distressing unknown is lurking us in the face. So, Saul having just banned the mediums from the land, puts on a disguise. I don’t know about you but when I picture Saul frantically trying to find a solution to the Lords silence, I imagine him rushing to put on a disguise similar to the one Sheldon Cooper puts on as he tries to get past Amy Farrah Fowler after she asks him to meet her mom.
Sorry, I digress, if you don’t watch The Big Bang Theory, you should! So, all decked out in his disguise, knowing the medium won’t see him otherwise, Saul travels to get some answers. The medium knows she will get in trouble if she gets caught so she reminds the man in the disguise that her life is on the line for helping him. Saul, quickly and desperately assures her she will not be punished, even going as far as to swear by the Lord. Saul’s time with the medium ends with her calling on Samuel’s spirit to reveal that due to his disobedience to the Lord, Saul will soon die.
In this example, the Lord had no intention of answering Saul’s cry to him. But I couldn’t help but wonder how many times the Lord has sat up on His heavenly throne patiently waiting to answer my cries to Him just to see if I would be obedient in waiting for his response. This passage made me think of one of my favorite go to verses when I’m struggling with patience. That verse is Isaiah 26:3, “You will keep in perfect peace, him whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” This verse reminds me that in those moments when I am frantically trying to figure out which way to go, I need not be frantic but to turn my attention to the Lord and remind myself He is there. God promises to keep our minds in peace if we stay focused on him. I hope to encourage you not to run to the next best thing when God doesn’t give you an immediate answer, but to be faithful in your obedience to Him by showing Him you trust him.