Spilled Salt: Trashcan

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By Adam Van Dop

There are two stories in the first book of Samuel that have struck me in the past couple weeks. The first appears in 1 Samuel 24, where we find David fleeing from King Saul, and was hiding in a cave. This is the cave where Saul came to “relieve himself.” David’s men saw that Saul was there, in a very vulnerable position, where David could have easily taken Saul’s life. David felt the words of the Lord tell him,

“Behold, I will give your enemy into your hand, and you shall do with him as it shall seem good to you.”

As the story goes, David felt that it was not the time to see Saul’s life end. So David went up close, a cut off a piece off Saul’s outer garment. Once Saul was cleaned up and exiting the cave, David called out to him, “I had a chance to kill you — but I didn’t, see I’ve got a piece of your shirt” David did not want to kill the Lord’s anointed.

The second story follows much of the same pattern, and only two chapters later. David was still fleeing King Saul, who was busying himself pursuing David with a rather large army for the task. David sent out some spies, who found where Saul and his army were camped, and deep in a God induced slumber.

David, with another guy, goes down to find Saul, who they find sleeping with his spear in the ground near his head. This other guy, knowing the history between David and Saul, says to David, “God has given your enemy into your hand this day. Now please let me pin him to the earth with one stroke.”

Other than the fact that David has quite the circle of friends who are willing to murder for him, David says, “Do not destroy him, for who can put out his hand against the Lord’s anointed and be guiltless?” Then the two of them grab Saul’s spear, and his cup of water — and leave.

As they left the camp, David shouts back out into the crowd of the sleeping army, “Hey you guys, did you notice I could’ve killed your king?? See look — I took his stuff!!”

This morning, I drove my daughter to her babysitter's house. The babysitter lives in a rather nice neighbourhood. The streets were filled with the local seniors out for their morning walks, stay-home moms were out with their strollers, others were out mowing their lawn, and a guy was repairing a fence.

Today was also garbage day in that neighbourhood.

I saw trashcans at the curb at just about every house; there was even the stereotypical elderly lady, in a floral robe, with those pink plastic curlers in her hair taking out the week’s trash.

I became jealous.

Not of the floral robe and curlers, but of the fact that these people were taking the trash to the curb. My family and I live in a condo building, where we enjoy our 950 square feet. We have made it nice and cozy and homey.

But we long to have a property of our own, a place where we have to bring the trash to the curb.
And as I was driving to the office this morning, I was reminded of something.

God’s timing is perfect.
God’s timing is His timing — for a reason.

Saul knew that David would eventually take over the throne, and was perhaps a little annoyed and wanting nothing of that to happen. David, being the upstanding guy that he was, after all — he was the next anointed king for a reason — refused to fall to the temptation of man, as he understood that the Lord has his own timing, and knew that the coronation day would eventually come.

My family and I will get our own property, we hope, in the Lord's timing.
David would take the throne, in the Lord's timing.

I think that we Christians sometimes forget this, and we take actions for ourselves and we make our choices with only ourselves in mind — we’re trying to control our own destiny.

We can —
But that would be just plain dumb.

James writes, “Every good and perfect gift comes from above” (James 1:17). This perfect gift of timing does come from above. And my life is a testimony to that.

Every time that I have taken something on my own accord, without checking in with God — has ended in failure. Every time that I have sought God’s will in my life, has ended in ways that are just so — well, perfect. Even in the times that felt right, like enrolling in a music program at a bible college. I had found the right place, but not the right program. Like entering into youth ministry, I applied a church on the Island, but Living Hope in Abbotsford hired me. I had found the right ministry, but the wrong place.

These stories are ones that I share quite openly and when all it’s laid out in front you or myself — it points only towards the Glory of God’s planning that involved certain people speaking certain words at very critical points, that no man could have orchestrated.

As I have realized that in the immediate future, that I will not be taking my trash to the curb, I, and my family will continue waiting on the Lord for His timing.

As we can see from the life of David, from his calling/anointing to his life as King, through his failures and successes — we can see the Hand of God at every point guiding him along.

So, may the God that lead and guided King David, the one who lead me to where I am, the one who is leading you — continue to lead and guide you. May you see His Hand everywhere you turn. May you realize that God’s timing is perfect and is made just for you.

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