“And the number of the days that David lived in the country of the Philistines was a year and four months.”
-1 Samuel 27:7
I just want you to think about this verse with me because this is one of many places in the Bible where we see just a quick verse. That took all of five seconds to read, but it covers a long span of time.
We pray for patience to trust you with whatever is coming tomorrow.
David has been fleeing from Saul. He’s living in the country of the Philistines of all places. He is waiting to become king. God has made it clear that he’s going to be king. I can just imagine there’s a tendency in David to say like, “Let’s just make this happen. Why am I having to wait and flee for my life and experience attacks and slander and all these different things coming at me?”
1 Samuel 27:7 says, “The number of days that David lived in the country of the Philistines was a year and four months.” 16 months is a long time to hide out. It may take five seconds to read, but I am pretty confident it didn’t feel like that in David’s life in a way that I think most, if not all, of us are familiar with.
There are times where we wonder, “When is it going to end? Can this just happen already? Can we move on from this already?” We stay in the valley certainly longer than we desire, longer than we had planned, and we need patience in the waiting. This is a picture we see all over the Bible.
I would highly commend it… It’s been one of my greatest friends over the last year and a half of waiting when it comes to our adoption process and our family and waiting for a son in another country that we have been unable to go to. I have been reading a book, it’s just a devotional book along the way by Andrew Murray called Waiting on God. I would highly commend it. But based on 1 Samuel 27, verse 7, I just want to lead us to pray for patience in the waiting when it comes to so many different things in our lives.
Even when I think about the present situation in the world and pandemic and variants. Who would have thought a year and a half ago that we would be at this point? We’re waiting for relief in so many ways still. This verse is a good reminder that God is working in the waiting, and we need grace, extra measures of grace to patiently wait.
So God, toward that end we pray. I think about certainly the journey I and my family have been on over the last year and a half, but in a broader way the journey we have been together on in this world amidst a pandemic and then in so many other situations. I can’t imagine all the different challenges that people listening to this right now have walked through, are walking through, and are waiting in the middle of, are waiting for resolution, waiting for this or that to happen. In light of Romans 8, we all are waiting eagerly for the ultimate redemption of our bodies and the ultimate redemption of creation.
God, there is a sense in which the Christian life is a life of waiting and trusting in the middle of waiting that you are working, that you’re working in us, you’re teaching us, you’re molding us into the image of Jesus. So do that, we pray. Do all the work you desire to do in our hearts, in our minds, in our lives in the waiting, and help us to trust in you.
I think about that translation of waiting in Isaiah chapter 40. “Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength,” and how that word means to rest trustfully in you. God help us to rest trustfully in you. We pray for patience in the waiting, for rest in the waiting, and for trust in you in the middle of the waiting.
We praise you for your promise that you will lead us through every valley we face, that you will guide us, that you are with us, that you are always working all things together for the good of your people and the glory of your name.
So we pray for patience today. We pray for patience to trust you with whatever is coming tomorrow and whatever’s coming 16 months from now, or however long from now, maybe years from now.
Think about Joseph in the middle of jail waiting for year after year after year, and, in the end, finding that you were working in ways far beyond what he could have imagined.
Oh God, we say together in the waiting based on 1 Samuel 27, verse 7, based on your love and your faithfulness, we rest trustfully in you. We pray for patience in the waiting and for you to do all the work you desire to do in our waiting. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.