In 1 Kings 3, we come across an odd and interesting story. Two harlots are standing before King Solomon’s court, petitioning his judgment on a sticky situation.
Cult prostitution was widely practiced in New Testament times, finding its origin in ancient eastern fertility practices. The two women, employed in one of the many temples, shared a house together and coincidently, both become pregnant and gave birth to a son within days of each other.
Standing before King Solomon’s court, the first woman relays her side of the story. One night, her roommate awakened to discover she had rolled over in her sleep and accidentally smothered her baby. This was not an uncommon cause of infant death in Bible times when a newborn was thought to be best kept warm and safe beside his mother during the night. Even if cribs existed back then, it wasn’t like they could just go to Walmart and pick one up after painting the baby’s room. After realizing what she had done, the woman decided to pull a switcheroo and then lied about it the next morning when the real mother figured out what had happened in the night. Now the future of her baby was in the hands of the king.
After a long and careful deliberation, the Jeopardy music hadn’t even finished when King Solomon gave an answer that would stun even Alex Trebek. With unwavering confidence, he instructed his servants to bring a sword while the women stood wide-eyed, wondering what this had to do with solving their case.
After a long silence, Solomon commanded his servants, “Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one, and half to the other.” The people looked at each other perplexed. King Solomon was renowned for his Godly wisdom but this was way out of line. Soon his reasoning was made crystal clear to all within earshot.
As the sword was raised, the first woman screamed and begged the king to give the child to the other woman to save his life. The other woman remained calm, complying with the king’s request, “Let it be neither mine or yours, but divide it.”
As the gavel fell and the sword dropped to the ground, King Solomon awarded the baby to the mother who cared for his welfare over her own, concluding that she was indeed the true mother. Everyone, including his servants, breathed a sigh of relief that Solomon had employed the wisdom of God to sort this mess out.
Many leaders today are holding onto someone else’s baby and calling it their own. It may be power, position or paycheck that is holding them there, but they know in their hearts this baby does not belong to them but to someone else.
When you recognize your true calling, your area of gifting and your limitations, you are free to fly. So why is it so difficult to hand over the baby when you know very well it’s not yours? Sometimes it means losing your pride. It may also mean making some major adjustments, letting go of what does not belong to you and even stepping down so that someone else can step into the position that is rightfully theirs.
I tell the story on an upcoming podcast about being fired from my first job as a Junior Accountant. Best thing that ever happened to me. I knew it wasn’t for me, but I didn’t know what to do about it. When I got canned, they did me a favor. I was released to pursue my true calling, which didn’t happen overnight. It was a process. But if I had insisted on staying in the exciting and adventurous world of accounting, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing now. Nothing against accounting. I just had to give up someone else’s baby to find the one that truly belonged to me.
So which mother are you in the story – are you holding onto someone else’s baby? Or are you pursuing your true calling? Be honest about what you could or should be doing in this season. If you’re frustrated, now is the time to seek God and start the process. The hardest step is the first one.
If you’re stuck, find someone you trust and get some honest feedback on what you could or should be doing with your life. When you’re operating in your true calling, you’ll know it. When you’re not, everyone else will know it. Feeling sorry for yourself is a waste of kleenex. Create a simple plan of action and move forward one step at a time.
Your worst situation can position you for your best situation. Some of the best businesses and ministries were birthed out of adversity. If you feel overwhelmed, just do one thing, one thing at a time.
God can make up for lost time and lost opportunities if you stop looking back and start looking to Him. It may seem too late on your timetable, but God is always right on time. Sometimes you find out why and sometimes you just have to trust. Whether you’re facing a mountain in front of you or you’re surrounded by stone-throwers, go to the Rock and keep moving forward.
Leave your comments below or feel free to contact me to talk about this.