Photo by Mariano Nocetti
1 Samuel 16:1
The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.”
Saul had been king for a while, but his reign was characterized by disobedience. A time finally came when God was done with him. However, Samuel wasn’t quite ready to move on. He had an attachment to Saul. He had prophesied over his being chosen to be Israel’s next king. He also probably had mentored him. Saul had become like a son to Samuel.
When God rejected Saul, Samuel mourned over Saul for a long time (I read somewhere that he mourned for a year). He couldn’t face Saul’s disappointment. He couldn’t accept that Saul had disobeyed God over and over and God had rejected him.
I found myself in a similar situation a few years ago. I had prayed for this person for a long while. I had invested a lot of time, money, and effort into this relationship. I had prophesied over them when they were making horrible decisions. I stood in horror as I watched this person throw away the prayers and God’s clear direction. They choose their own way instead of God.
My heart broke in ways I couldn’t imagine. To say I was devastated is an understatement. I had wholeheartedly invested in this person knowing that they wouldn’t fail. Because they were chosen by God, I thought it was automatic.
But God choosing someone doesn’t negate their responsibility of choosing God for themselves and obeying His commands.
A time came where I had to stop mourning over what hadn’t worked out and move forward with what God wanted to be done. I had to choose to lay down what I thought this person was going to be and make different plans.
Maybe you are mourning a relationship that was of God but hasn’t worked out. Maybe you are mourning a person who has walked away from God despite all your praying and believing God for them. Maybe you are mourning an opportunity that didn’t work out the way you thought it would.
I don’t what you are grieving but I am here to tell you it’s time to move on. It’s not easy when we’ve invested ourselves in something and watch it fail. But God gives us the grace to get up and move forward when things don’t work out.
I have learned this the hard way. Sometimes, prophecies will fail because they are dependent on all the people involved to do their part. It doesn’t matter if that thing was prophesied if that person doesn’t partner with God it will fail.
God has tied Himself to our choosing Him. He has made Himself vulnerable to failure because He has given us a free will. He will never violate someone’s will, not even when His faithfulness is at stake. He will let them walk away if they chose to. He will do everything possible to bring truth to them but if they don’t choose truth, then God will let them be.
Few things I have learned about mourning and moving on:
It is okay to grieve. We have to permit ourselves to mourn to heal. If we don’t grieve the loss we will remain stuck even when we are trying to move forward. Face the disappointment. Face the loss. Face the failure, the only way is to go through it. Don’t pretend it’s not there, don’t pretend you didn’t get hurt. Weep, scream if you have to. Talk through it with someone. Do whatever you need to face it so you can heal from it.
Exchange your mourning for praise. You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy. Psalm 30: 11 There is a place we have to exchange our mourning for joy. Praise has the power to break a spirit of mourning. Choose to praise even when you don’t feel like it.
I remember singing over and over- unto God be all the praise – planetshakers.” It became my anthem for that season even when I didn’t see any great thing in that situation. The more I sang it the more I began to see the goodness of God in that season. Slowly, I got back to believing that God could do great things in my life again. Sing yourself into truth.
Consciously choose to leave the past behind. We can relive the past over and over again. And when we do this we will not be able to see what God is doing now. Samuel was stuck in what was that he couldn’t see that God was up to something. But forget all that – it’s nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. Isaiah 43:19
Press on to what’s ahead. Pressing denotes effort. You are going to have to make the effort to move forward. You won’t feel like it. There will be no excitement but by faith, you will get up every day and make the decision to press on. Paul says, “but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining toward what is ahead. Philippians 3: 13 we strain forward, it’s not automatic. When we are tempted to stay stuck in what failed, in what didn’t happen, we strain to what God has for us ahead. We make sure that the past doesn’t rob us of today and tomorrow, because we know in Him the best is yet to come.
Keep pressing on Sis; keep straining forward you will reach a day where the things you didn’t think you could get over are just a distant memory. With God all things are possible, and to him who believes all things are possible.