“Epiphany, epiphany! Oh, how I love thee!” Isn’t it miraculous when you have one that transforms the circumstances surrounding a situation or problem into cohesive understanding? Granted they don’t occur as often as I’d like but when they do, lookout! They’re the most magnificent evidence of God’s awareness of the details in our life.
Often we’re better at handling affliction than we are at handling promotions. As Thomas Carlyle, the Scottish essayist and historian, said, “But for one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred that will stand adversity.”
Swindoll focused on the journey of David from boy to king. The most interesting aspect of David’s journey was the time spent hiding from Saul in a cave. Getting out of the cave was a journey but when he emerged, he had learned humility, leadership, and how to rally the masses. It took years of waiting, constantly asking Samuel and God, “Can I go now?” This brings me to my epiphany.
Have you ever watched a child as he or she is learning to walk? It’s one step forward, a look back at mom or dad for the go ahead nod or smile of approval, another accomplished step or two forward before looking back for more approval. Suddenly things are no longer out of reach as mobility moves from knees to feet. The need for independence intensifies and the risk of injury increases as the desire for exploration overcomes the need for guidance. No longer is the child asking, “Can I go now?” When injury occurs, who do they run back to?
It should be obvious this isn’t a story about David’s motor skills development. The point is David remained in that cave until he had learned to look back at God for every decision he had to make. When God determined David was ready, he was allowed to leave as a king and leader. All the agony he endured prepared him for the life God intended for him. It didn’t mean David was perfect, as Swindoll points out. David’s biggest mistakes occurred when he quit asking God for direction and rushed to decision.
I’ve been in the same place for seven long years. Now I know why. God has used that time to teach me a few things about Himself, myself, and others. Apparently it’s time for me to leave my cave. So as I prepare to begin a new chapter in my life, I acknowledge and accept my propensity for imperfections but I am determined more than ever to ask God, “Can I go now?”