Steak on A Plate

Steak on a Plate 1

Not long ago I was reading a story in the book of Samuel that resonated deeply.  I’m not sure why.

Was I hungry at the time and steak sounded good? Was it because I’m from the Mid-West and we eat meat? Or was it because of the faith Samuel demonstrated in his waiting?

Let me share the back story. The prophet Samuel had just invited the soon to be appointed King Saul to his home for dinner. They were about to join Samuel’s thirty other guest when he said to his cook, “Bring the piece of meat I gave you, the one I told you to lay aside.” The story continues….

“So the cook took up the leg with what was on it and set it in front of Saul. Samuel said, “Here is what has been kept for you for this occasion, from the time I said, ‘I have invited guests'”

Wow. So much is implied in that teeny, tiny sentence.  You see this business of Israel having an appointed King was no small matter to Samuel. In fact, it had become quite personal. If you drop back a couple of chapters (1 Samuel 8:7) we learn how “old man Samuel” felt hurt and rejected regarding his nations desire to have a king.

God comforted Samuel with these words, “…it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king.” God then gives Samuel permission to give the stubborn Israelite’s what they want (but don’t need). The bible isn’t clear how long Samuel waited from the time God promised an Israeli King to the time Saul was brought directly before him. But it does say that Samuel was an old man by the time he reached this leg of his journey.

I imagine a lifetime of Samuel, the faithful servant, waiting for his beloved (the Israeli nation) to turn to God.

But. They. Didn’t.

Not really. God was never quite enough. And yet, ol’ Sam didn’t get discouraged. I’m certain it was his optimism not his steak on a plate that struck such a cord with me. I can’t imagine how Samuel must have felt, waiting all those years with what must have felt like innumerable, unanswered prayers.

Again, the bible doesn’t say it, but if the Holy Spirit worked in Samuel’s life like He works in mine I suspect the waiting had purpose and meaning. God is an economical God. He’s not one to waste. He doesn’t waste our pain. He doesn’t waste dashed hopes.

God doesn’t waste our waiting.

It occurs to me that someone out there might be waiting. Last week one of my sister-in-law’s sent me a beautiful poem titled Wait. Perhaps, this poem, along with the example of Samuel’s unwavering “steak on a plate faith” will minister to you as much as it did to me.


by Russell Kelfer

Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried;

Quietly, patiently, lovingly, God replied.

I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate…

and the Master so gently said, “Wait.”

Wait? you say wait?” my indignant reply.“

Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!”

Is your hand shortened?  Or have you not heard? 

By faith I have asked, and I’m claiming your Word.

My future and all to which I relate

hangs in the balance,and you tell me to “Wait?”

I’m needing a ‘yes,’ a go-ahead sign.

Or even a ‘no,’ to which I’ll resign.

You promised, dear Lord, that if we believe,

We need but to ask, and we shall receive.

Lord, I’ve been asking, and this is my cry:

I’m weary of asking! I need a reply.

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate,

as my Master replied again, “Wait.”

So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut,

and grumbled to God, “So, I’m waiting…for what?”

He seemed then to kneel, and His eyes met with mine…

and He tenderly said “I could give you a sign.

I could shake the heavens and darken the sun.

  I could raise the dead and cause the mountains to run.

I could give all you seek and pleased you would be.

You’d have what you want, but you wouldn’t know Me.

You’d not know the depth of My love for each saint.

You’d not know the power that I give to the faint.

You’d not learn to see through the clouds of despair;

you’d not learn to trust just by knowing I’m there.

You’d not know the joy of resting in Me

when darkness and silence are all you can see.

You’d never experience the fullness of love

when the peace of My spirit descends like a dove.

You would know that I give, and I save, for a start,

But you’d not know the depth of the beat of My heart.

The glow of My comfort late into the night,

the faith that I give when you walk without sight.

The depth that’s beyond getting just what you ask

From an infinite God who makes what you have last.

You’d never know should your pain quickly flee,

what it means that My grace is sufficient for thee.

Yes, your dearest dreams overnight would come true,

but, oh, the loss, if you missed what I’m doing in you.

So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see

that the greatest of gifts is to truly know me.

And though oft My answers seem terribly late,

My most precious answer of all is still…


Your DoAhead Friend,

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