“Samuel answered Saul, “I am the seer. Go up before me to the high place, for today you shall eat with me, and in the morning I will let you go and will tell you all that is on your mind. As for your donkeys that were lost three days ago, do not set your mind on them, for they have been found.” (1 Samuel 9:19–20 ESV).
Saul had no idea. God wanted him, having chosen him to become the first king of Israel. God had plans for Saul’s life, but Saul puttered along in search of his father’s lost donkeys. Eventually, Samuel interrupted Saul’s quest. He announced he had a prophetic word for Saul. He would announce to Saul all that was on his mind, and “as for the donkeys that were lost there days ago, do not set your mind on them, for they have been found.”
Samuel was the deliverer of God’s word, and when God communicates, it often happens just this way. Saul thought he wanted to know about the location of donkeys, but God knew he wanted to know about so much more, which is why Samuel could say, “I will tell you all that is on your mind.”
When we approach Scripture, we often come the same way. We think there is an all-important truth or insight we need to hear from God about, but he knows our deeper longing. When you sit with your Bible open, pen in hand, you might think you know what you need to hear about, but God sees the more exact need. He knows what you lack.
Who Am I?
God seeks to answer the question of identity. You are not an accident. You are not a self-determinate being. You are a man or woman created in his image. You are loved by God. He wants to bring you into his family, to make you his child.
Where Are My People?
Everyone looks for a group, the people who are to make up his or her community. For the child of God, they are part of the community, the new humanity of the saints. We are called to find our family amongst God’s children, our fellow heirs with Christ.
What Am I For?
What purpose do I have in life? For what do I exist? God has a plan for each of us, and his divine will makes life worthwhile. To learn that our lives are meant to find satisfaction and joy through enjoying God is a delight for humanity.
These, and questions like them, are God’s truest concern as we approach him with our smaller questions. It is not that he cannot be bothered with the small matters of life. His infinite nature makes handling those issues a breeze. However, for love’s sake, he longs to pull us past the donkeys and into the fuller meaning of life.