Among the Stuff

by Joanna Pierce on March 13, 2019

I dread the month of January at work. Why? Yearly performance reviews. It’s not that I have bad reviews (thank the Lord!) but hearing someone review my work in a positive light makes me utterly uncomfortable. I see all of my flaws and wonder how in the world could my supervisor see what I do as meeting the needs of the company? How am I qualified to receive such a good review?

So, during review-season, I try to make myself scarce. But, inevitably, my supervisor always finds me. There are only so many places in an office building you can go before you run out of hiding places (the bathroom isn’t even a place of sanctity anymore…).

When [Samuel] had caused the tribe of Benjamin to come near by their families, the family of Matri was taken, and Saul the son of Kish was taken: and when they sought him, he could not be found. Therefore they enquired of the LORD further, if the man should yet come thither. And the LORD answered, Behold, he hath hid himself among the stuff. And they ran and fetched him thence: and when he stood among the people, he was higher than any of the people from his shoulders and upward. And Samuel said to all the people, See ye him whom the LORD hath chosen, that there is none like him among all the people? And all the people shouted, and said, God save the king (I Samuel 10:21–24, KJV).

Apparently, I’m not the only one who takes to hiding. In the Old Testament, the prophet Samuel told Saul he would be anointed king over Israel. But, when Saul returned home and gave a report regarding his encounter, he failed to mention this tiny detail about his foretold royalty (I Samuel 10:16).

When Samuel assembled the tribes of Israel to announce their new king, lo and behold, Saul was missing. He didn’t just forget the meeting, he was hiding among “the stuff” (I Samuel 10:22). Saul didn’t think he was worthy to be called by God to be king, so he went into hiding—hoping God and the prophet Samuel would forget all about it.

I laughed when I read how Saul was hiding behind some stuff because this seems to be a commonality among God’s people…

How many of us, when we’re called by God to complete a work, think we’re unworthy to do it? In trying to run from our calling, ministry, or task, we also like to hide behind some stuff. Our stuff can be a busy schedule, character flaws, timing, relationships, or even personality. For example, if you don’t like being in the limelight, you’re a prime candidate to be called into it. God will exalt the humble (Matthew 23:12) and use those who think they’re unworthy.

Let me tell you a secret—we’re all unworthy and we’re all not good enough to be used by God or in His Kingdom. But, He makes us worthy, qualified, and good enough. There’s no need to hide because God’s called us for a reason and will equip us to do the work. If we’re not obedient, He’ll start to remove stuff from our lives, so we run out of excuses and things to hide behind.

If you haven’t read the Bible lately, it tells us a few things: we’re a chosen generation, royal priesthood, holy nation, and a peculiar people (I Peter 2:9). We’ve been called out from among everyone else to be separate and to do God’s work (II Corinthians 6:17). We need to listen for God’s voice and respond to it when we’re called (John 10:27). What a wonderful reminder!

If you’re called, do the work, and do it unto the Lord (Colossians 3:23). If you get praised for it, be humble and give the glory to the One who really deserves it. Don’t hide among the stuff in your life. Come out before God calls you out and see what amazing things He has in store for you to do.