Last week I attempted to roast a whole chicken for the first time ever. I'm a decent cook, but somehow the ability (or courage) to cook an entire chicken has always eluded me.
So I made a lemon-thyme chicken and hoped for the best. The oven timer beeped, and I couldn't wait to see how it had turned out. I pulled a delicious-smelling, beautifully golden chicken out of the oven. It looked great, but having zero whole-chicken experience, I knew I needed some expertise on this one. I asked Justin if it looked ready. He wiggled its legs and poked at it a bit and said, "Looks ready to me."
So we sat down to our dinner table, ready for a taste. But after a few slices into the bird, Justin furrowed his brow and said, "I think it needs a few more minutes in the oven." In Justin's defense, it really did look ready--in fact, I couldn't believe I had cooked a chicken that looked so downright Martha Stewart-y! But I hoisted the chicken back into the roasting pan and popped it back into the oven. It was a bit of a let-down, especially since we went through this scenario like three more times before we actually got to eat the thing, and by then we had filled up on broccoli salad and mashed potatoes!
As ready as the chicken appeared to be from an outside assessment, it wasn't really ready for us to enjoy. And I'd venture to say that some of the awesome, glorious, good things God has in store for us are still cooking right now.
Even David was anointed, consecrated, set apart, chosen by God to be King--and then things kind of came to a halt. At least from a circumstantial standpoint, the way it all went down seemed kind of--well, anticlimactic!
The LORD revealed to Samuel that David would one day be King, so Samuel anointed David with oil, and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David in power. No small things! Can you imagine?
Aaaand then right after that, he was right back to tending sheep, working as an armor-bearer, playing harp for Saul, and delivering lunch to his brothers. Riveting stuff--especially after the high of being chosen and anointed to reign as King.
Yes, he was still the anointed one, set apart for God's purposes. But it wasn't yet time for the big-guns stuff of taking down Goliath or wearing a King's crown. He was just hanging with the sheep, playing the harp, and running errands. The ordinary stuff of his life.
You'd think that he would've been ready at the moment he was anointed. You'd assume it would be full-steam ahead from the moment they poured that oil over him.
But as ready as things may have looked at that anointing ceremony, it wasn't time quite yet for God's call on David's life to be on display. But God was busy displaying HIS power to David. As a shepherd, David had to defend his sheep (and himself!) against lions and bears, and He saw God as His deliverer in every one of those instances.
And then when Goliath finally did enter the picture--even more waiting!--the giant showed up for forty days, taunting and tormenting the Israelites, before the big David vs. Goliath event went down.
And when it finally did, David was READY. God had readied David. And it was the God he had come to know as his Deliverer while doing the menial task of tending sheep whom David trusted when he needed a Deliverer once again:
"The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine, Goliath," David proclaimed (1 Samuel 17:37).
In this life we go from glory to glory and strength to strength, and it can be a bit of a letdown to get a taste of glory and then have to return to the unspectacular stuff of life while we wait for the next glory, the next strength. During these in-between, pre-ready seasons some of us are in right now, I believe God is currently revealing to us all we need to know about Him. And I also believe that what we come to know of Him in these days of waiting are the very things we will need to know about Him for our victory when we really are ready. We will be able to refer back to what He made known to us about Himself in these watching-sheep, delivering-lunches, uneventful days, and KNOW who is with us when it's time to go forward.
The things God has us up to now may seem mundane, even disconnected from what we believe to be the call on our lives. But isn't it interesting that a man who held the unimpressive job of shepherding a flock would one day shepherd the hearts of people when he reigned as King?
Maybe you think you're ready. Maybe you're getting close--maybe not. But we can trust God to show us who He is along the road to readiness.