What is my automatic reaction to trouble in my life? What is my automatic assumption when issues come up? Do I automatically think that something is trouble? Do I assume that the slightest whispering in our church family is going to be a massive fissure? Do I truly believe that God has my back, or do I ASSUME that I must figure things out for myself?
I began asking myself these questions as our Sunday School studied through II Samuel some time ago. In chapter 4 of II Samuel, we find the story of Mephibosheth. Mephibosheth was one of Jonathon’s sons. You remember that Jonathon was one of King Saul’s sons and heir to the throne of Israel according to man’s law. God anointed King David instead, but God gave Jonathon and David a deep friendship where no jealousy erupted. Jonathon agreed with God that David should be King. He willingly submitted to God’s choice.
II Samuel 4:4, states, “Now Jonathon, Saul’s son had a son crippled in both feet. He was five years old when the report of Saul and Jonathon came from Jezreel, and his nurse took him and fled. And it happened that in her hurry to flee, he fell and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth.”
You might be asking the question, “What report? What happened to Saul and Jonathon?” This is where you find the transition in leadership of Israel. King Saul and Jonathon had both died on the battle field and a new king was coming into power. Mephibosheth’s nurse ASSUMED that Mephibosheth would be killed. She ASSUMED that the new king would be as other kings and kill any perceived threat to his throne. She ASSUMED that she would have to protect her charge. Her love for Mephibosheth caused a chain of events that could have been prevented had she stopped, prayed and listened to God’s take on the matter. If she had simply stopped, looked up and listened, God would have told her to be still and allow the new king to find them. In II Samuel 9, King David searched for a son of Jonathon to honor. He took Mephibosheth as his own honored son. She would have saved herself and Mephibosheth years of anxiety and physical impairment if she had just stopped, looked to God and listened for His voice.
Psalm 46:10 tells us to be still and know that He is God. Sometimes, the only way to know whether our trust is in ourselves, or our God is to be still in His presence. We can know then if we are trusting, or assuming. Our trust is going in the right direction if we are good with Him working without our “help”. If we are fretting and stewing and trying to figure things out on our own, well, we confess that as sin and ask Him to help us truly rest in Him. He has our back no matter what circumstances look like around us. Job 23:10 says,“But He knows the way that I take; When He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.”
How many times have I ASSUMED things as Mephibosheth’s nurse did? How many times have I ASSUMED that my choice was God’s choice? How many times have I let a false urgency dictate my reaction and ASSUME a way was God’s way because I saw no other option? How many times have I crippled those around me because I ASSUMED?
I am so convicted by these questions. So many times I hear God’s leading and submit to the role that He has called me to, but in the day-to-day grind, I think it’s up to me to figure things out. I am so wrong. I must be still and hear Him daily, if not hourly, if not every single minute. Isaiah 55:8-9, tells us, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.” How is He to reveal His thoughts to me if I am not still enough to listen? How does He instill the mind of Christ in me, as II Corinthians 10:5 says, if I am in a constant state of assumption?
Have you ever noticed a night sky filled with stars? Have you noticed the peace and encouragement of each twinkle? What about those nights you haven’t noticed? Why are some nights different from others? I know in my own life when I have actually looked up, I notice. When I stop and am still in the moment, I see. When someone is pulling me in all directions to hurry up, or I’m thinking of what’s next instead of being in the moment, I don’t see the same stars that are there every, single night. So it is with God. His ways are always there for me to see. His thoughts are always open for me to hear, (Isaiah 30:20b-21), but, am I in the moment with Him? Or, am I rushing around ASSUMING He agrees with me?
My heart breaks every time I hear the name Mephibosheth. I am reminded that an assuming nurse caused a lot of heartache. Yes, everything is beautiful for him in the end, but God’s original plan for his life was so much better. God did not just want him sitting at King David’s table, but frolicking in the courtyard as well. As a mom, this really makes me stop and think. I need to allow God to work His perfect plan in my children’s lives as well as my own. I do not need to ASSUME anything where they are concerned. God has their back just like He has mine. I do not need to manipulate circumstances so that they are doing my will for their lives, but God’s alone. Mephibosheth reminds me that God not only wants my children sitting at His banquet daily, but frolicking in the courtyard as well. I need to loosen my grip, stop running around in a panic assuming the worst and simply place them in the arms of the King.
Let’s stop assuming and simply trust.