"Fill your horn with oil, and be on your way." (1 Samuel 16:1)
The prophet Samuel loved King Saul dearly and prayed for him daily over a span of forty years (1 Samuel 12:23). He wished to see Saul as a mature spiritual leader for the people of Israel. On the other hand Saul was everything but godly and so the Lord decided to remove him from kingship. Samuel was overcome with grief. In the earlier chapter we read, he "was troubled and cried out to God all night," about Saul (1 Samuel 15:1-11). God allowed Samuel to mourn Saul's defeat for some time. However the Lord had already made up his mind, Samuel's tears were not going to change the Lord's plans. But yet there was hope! The Lord said to Samuel, "How long will you go on mourning over Saul?" I have better plans and I want to make you part of the new thing that I’ve in mind. Be on your way for I will lead you to the new king.
Samuel was grieved and afraid. Grief always comes with fear!!! Fear of the unknown... the "what if's." What if he obeyed God, and anointed the new king, he would have to pay with his life (1 Samuel 16:2). What if this new king turned out to be like Saul? Would the Israelites reject him as prophet, accusing him of disloyalty and vacillation? Samuel had a lot to lose and very little to gain. His response would determine the history of God's people. Surely he must have mourned over and over again. Thinking to himself, "if only," Saul "could have done this and this," then maybe "it would have been." And wept over all those wasted years, forty to be precise.
We have all faced the "Sauls" and "Samuels" in life. The times when we came across the "could have been" and the "should have been" and yes we have mourned over the wasted years and said the "if only's." It is but natural to brood over missed opportunities, weak decisions, lost relationships, the demise of a loved one, or failures, nonetheless we must learn to move forward. It is the Lord who asks us the same question, "How long will you go on mourning???" For in situations like these we must forget what lies behind and press forward to what lies ahead (Philippians 3:13).We have to let go. There is a time for healing, which only the Lord knows. But we must remember to never let the oil of gladness run dry. We need to release the un-forgiveness, the broken heartedness, the un-cried tears, and the pains that were buried alive and fill ourselves with the Holy Spirit. We can never know where the Lord is leading us to, we can only keep guessing just as Samuel did with the sons of Jesse but we’ve got to stay deeply rooted in faith. When we let go of things beyond our control the Lord will help us see things the way he sees them, all we ought to do is trust and obey.
"Heavenly Father, I may never see things the way you see them. At times I fail to understand why you do not satisfy the longings of my heart. Lord, I lift up these moments to you and pray for trust in your unfathomable wisdom and obedience to your divine plan."