Watching. Waiting. Listening

“Then God said, Rise and anoint David; this is the one. . . and from that day on, the Spirit of God came powerfully upon David.” –  1 Samuel 16:12-13

The whole town stopped in its tracks when Samuel showed up. “Is there bad news . . . from God?”

Not this time. God was sending Samuel to check out each of Jesse’s sons as prospects for becoming Israel’s next king.

Each son made a great impression upon the fearless, not easily swayed prophet whose piercing gaze could strip even the hearts of kings to nakedness. Samuel knew the voice of the Stillspeaking God . . . and God’s silence.

“Are there more sons, Jesse?”

In the silence and waiting, Samuel discovers that Jesse has not presented his youngest son, David, who is “out tending sheep.”

Keep listening, Samuel.

So much of shepherding is waiting, watching, and listening. There’s no express lane to leading, feeding and grazing.

Keep listening, Samuel.

The will of God is often revealed in the waiting, watching, and listening . . . unstopping the ears of our hearts to hear the faint sounds of earth breaking open, freeing the first shoots of God’s future, unfolding before us . . . and there are no shortcuts.

And when it was time, God said to Samuel, “Rise and anoint David; this is the one.  Then the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David”

Whether seeking a leader or life direction, put your ear to the ground of God’s Being with prayerful attentiveness, always looking and listening for the early green shoots of God’s future for your life, family, relationships, church, or whatever. Get up! Move forward! Trust God to do the things we cannot!


Gracious God, the direction I need is not yet clear. I am comforted in knowing my path is clear to you. Grant me clarity. Empower me to rise up and move forward as part of your plan to bless the world. Amen.

15170.jpgAbout the Author
Ron Buford is the Pastor of the Congregational Community Church of Sunnyvale, UCC,  Sunnyvale, California.