I glanced at it on the counter when filling my morning cup with ice. I got an invite yesterday and, per usual, I put it on the counter so that I could let the date roll around in my mind. Do I have anything going on then?
I’m not good with getting everything on the calendar. I just learned how to put an appointment in my phone last week. So when it comes to “being there”, I’ve had a tendency to be flaky. It’s not really so much because I’m disorganized. It's more that life is just so busy. I routinely talk about bulging calendar squares for good reason.
Flakiness drives me crazy, both my own and when someone tells me they’ll do something, or be somewhere and then they don’t show up. I suppose uncertainty causes anxiety. Being reliable is an expression that shows another they matter.
Not just for a special occasion, there are events we don't speak about for which we're in need of support. We need encouragement. We need defense.
That’s why I was thrilled with a verse in 1 Samuel this morning amidst reading over the hard to keep up with G’s: Gibeah, Gilead, Gad...
In chapter eleven, the people of Jabesh are in hot water with the Ammonites. (This is after the elders of Jabesh offered to be subject to them if they’d merely make a treaty.) The Ammonites respond with a promise that any treaty would include a community eye gouging, and thus public disgrace. That doesn't sound much like a treaty, does it?
Jabesh sends out messengers looking for rescue. The word that they’re in need of assistance hits Saul’s ears (who's about to be confirmed as king.) Subsequently the power of God hits Saul. The message Saul sends back provides a word we can all cling to.
"Say to the men of Jabesh Gilead, 'by the time the sun is hot tomorrow, you will be rescued.'"
1 Samuel 11:9
We let people down. Sometimes our character flaws are at fault. Other times our behavior will be amiss or we'll be absent due to things outside our power. Likewise we'll be let down. Loneliness shows up to what was supposed to be a party.
We'll have times we feel defenseless, but God's showing up is certain.
The people of Jabesh sought help. Saul didn't put the invitation on the counter, only to respond later, or else answer in the affirmative, but then have something else come up later. He didn't forget.
There's not a day, an occasion, where the sun doesn't get hot. Neither clouds nor rain can cool it off. Even when we don't feel it on our skin, it doesn't cease to be hot. We have that assurance.
The fighting, 1 Sam 11:11 tells us, was complete in the heat of the day. The Ammonites were battled and slaughtered before the sun got its hottest.
We can rest assured, knowing that God has responded to our invitation to be attentive before we ever ask. When the sun is hot, be certain that God is already at work. He's better than on the way. He's there.