The women were gone. Taken. So were the children. The children! And as the weeping began to die off, they turned to their leader. Yet they turned to him, not in hope or looking for guidance. They turned in anger. In their grief, they wanted to pepper David with stones, taking his life for the lives of the families they’d lost.

Surely, the answer was clear. They had to go after them! This was David we are talking about, the defeater of armies! Obviously, they needed to get themselves together and follow on the trail as soon as humanly possible. (Not to mention — action would perhaps curtail the miserable death people were contemplating for him.)

But David doesn’t rush off. No. He paused. And he prayed. He asked what he should do, and he asked what the outcome would be. And then he listened for God’s answer.

There is so much in this story to learn from — spoiler alert: God returns their families to them — but this small detail has stopped me in my tracks the last few months.

You see, I like to say “yes.” There are many reasons to say yes — people pleasing, fear of missing out, new experiences, or genuine desire to help. But today’s passage has challenged me to pause.

To pause and pray. To pause and ask what God wants me to do and what he will do.

It has been hard. It has required me to completely change my habits and rhythms. But it has been good. Walking in guidance and in obedience gives courage, comfort, and confidence. It helps me focus on the why and also to remember not to take on God’s role. It gives me the courage to say no and to follow through when yes’s get hard.

What might look different in your life if you paused before saying “yes”?

Father, thank you for walking with me through life. That I don’t have to figure this all out on my own. What do you want me to say yes to today? What do you want me to say no to? I will choose to pause and listen right now.

Throughout this day: Meditate on the story of the Good Shepherd in John 10, noticing how we can learn to hear and recognize God’s voice.

Tags: 1 Samuel 30 habits John 10
Photo Credit: Cody Doherty on Unsplash