Chasing Donkeys

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So what has filled your time this week? Have you been sending emails, texting, visiting friends and relatives? Or have you been writing letters, chatting with neighbors, crocheting or getting the garden ready? Has your phone been ringing non-stop? Or have you had so many errands to run and appointments to keep that it seems you barely have time to catch your breath?

How about your thoughts? How busy have they been? Have you been chewing on the bone of worry, anxiety, or frustration? When your head hits the pillow, where do your thoughts roam? And do they roam incessantly? Are there a thousand details you are pursuing in your mind?

Are you chasing donkeys?

Take a look at the story of Saul, the man who would not be king and then when he became king he forgot the One True King in all his busyness and worry. In 1 Samuel, Saul and a servant are sent out to look for…donkeys.

And the donkeys of Kish Saul’s father were lost. And Kish said to Saul his son, Take now one of the servants with thee, and arise, go seek the donkeys. 1 Samuel 9:3

Yup. Donkeys. Saul’s father sent him out to search for donkeys. Of course, in that time, these animals were very valuable so it made sense to search for them. And search he did. His dad was worried about his donkeys and Saul did as he was asked.

To me, the donkeys are like the worries, concerns, anxieties we all entertain from time to time and for some of us, we invite them on in and actually feed them. And what are the donkeys doing? Or rather the worries? Well, they are lollygagging along, absolutely unaffected by the time we spend chasing after them. But back to our story of Saul.

And he passed through mount Ephraim, and passed through the land of Shalisha, but they found them not: then they passed through the land of Shalim, and there they were not: and he passed through the land of the Benjamites, but they found them not. 1 Samuel 9: 4

The donkeys were chased, sought after, looked for and hmmmmm not found. Wonder where they got to? And by this time in the story another worry popped up.

And when they were come to the land of Zuph, Saul said to his servant that was with him, Come, and let us return; lest my father leave caring for the donkeys,  and take thought for us. 1 Samuel 9:5

Now Saul was sent out after the worrisome donkeys and too long looking for them, he is now concerned that his dad might be anxious for him. (Good grief!  Another worry!)

But wait! Someone has an idea! The two go to seek Samuel who, wait for it, already knows they are coming! I love how God works. He is always one step ahead of us; ten steps no wait an eternity ahead of us. And to receive what the Lord has for him, what does Saul have to do?

 And as they were going down to the end of the city, Samuel said to Saul, Bid the servant pass on before us, (and he passed on), but stand thou still a while, that I may show thee the word of God. 1 Samuel 9:27

All this time, Saul has been moving, searching, looking, pacing, his mind wondering where have those donkeys got to and on top of it all, is Dad now worried about us for we have been gone so long? And the Lord speaks to him through Samuel and he is told to … be still.

Be still!

Quit flitting about.  Quit fretting.  Quit chasing donkeys.

And…

Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen; I will be exalted in the earth.  Psalm 46:10

And when we are at our most quiet like Elijah was in the mountain, He comforts, He advises, He stills the busyness of our bodies, our minds, our souls.

And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. 1 Kings 19:12

After an earthquake of emotion, illness, financial setbacks, family problems, His still small voice is there. After a firestorm of physical pain, seemingly endless doctor visits and whatever other worry and fear creeps into our hearts, His still small voice is there.

Where is your quiet time? You know what I am talking about, don’t you? The time when it is just you and the Lord. Be still and listen for Him.

Oh! What about the donkeys Saul was chasing? Well, if you read further in 1 Samuel 9, the donkeys were found. All that energy and effort and the wandering donkeys were taken care of after all.

Copyright 2015  Linda Bennett
Photo by Micky07 (2006) via Morguefile.

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