A Failed Donkey Hunt?
Sometimes I feel very alone in the midst of the mundane times. God is obviously present in the midst of the miraculous. Remembering that He is present in the midst of the mundane isn’t always easy. Lately, the Lord has been helping me trust Him by gently reminding me of a story I’ve known about for a while. It’s the story of Saul’s donkey hunt.
The story is in I Samuel 9-10 where God chooses Saul to be Israel’s first king. Saul’s family heritage falls in 9:1… a Benjamite, the son of a mighty man of valor. Next a description of his appearance… “tall, dark, and handsome” seems to sum it up well. Skip over to the big finish in I Samuel 10:1-13… the prophet Samuel reveals God’s choice to Saul. Samuel gives Saul three prophecies to prove the revelation. Three detailed prophecies that were fulfilled the same day falls in the category of “Miraculous Stuff.” The beginning and end of this story are anything but mundane. Now look at the middle of the story, the very mundane middle of the story.
In 9:3-14, I see a donkey hunt that ranges through a series of one stoplight towns. I see Saul walking around with nothing to show for his efforts. I see a meeting with the prophet Samuel inspired and financed by an unnamed servant, and kept on schedule by a group of uninterested young women.
The path from the beginning of the story to it’s miraculous end is filled with the mundane stuff of life that smells so familiar to me here in the 21st century. And there in the midst of very ordinary circumstances is the unseen hand of my Shepherd.
Read 9:15-16. Turns out God was moving Saul toward a divinely scheduled appointment by means of lost donkeys, one stoplight towns, a servant with an idea and a little cash, and a group of young women looking for water. God is taking Saul from failed donkey hunter to king and He’s so subtle it looks like coincidence.
Long ago, my then eleven year old son and I went to the Super Walmart. I had my hand on his shoulder as he walked in front of me so that I could steer him through the congestion to our destination. We were on a super serious mission. The boy needed a “lunchable” and he needed it bad! He decided he would close his eyes while I was steering him. He put his hands over his eyes and I promptly let go of him. He stopped in his tracks, the game had suddenly lost it’s appeal. I told him I would take care of him.
With that simple assurance, he put his hands over his eyes and started walking at a normal pace. We went from the automotive section to the grocery section and back. He was giggling and enjoying himself the whole way.
I started thinking about Saul and his donkeys and how the Lord got Saul where Saul needed to be. The closer we got to the Walmart exit the more trusting I became of my Shepherd. I thought, “How much better is God at guiding me through life than I am at guiding my son through Walmart?” Then another question came to mind, “Why don’t I go ahead and enjoy the adventure like my son?”
May the wheels of your faith find a little traction today as you think about that fruitless donkey hunt. He is involved… even here in the midst of the mundane.