You might know the story of Mephibosheth from the Bible. He was the son of Jonathan and the grandson of King Saul. When they were killed in battle, he was only five years old, and had to flee with his nurse to Gibeah because she feared the Philistines would try to kill him too. In her rush to get Mephibosheth away from possible danger an unfortunate accident took place. The nurse dropped Mephibosheth and he was crippled in both legs for the rest of his life.
2 Samuel 4:4 reads: “Jonathan, Saul’s son, had a son who was lame in his feet. He was five years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel; and his nurse took him up and fled. And it happened, as she made haste to flee, that he fell and became lame. His name was Mephibosheth.”
Here are two significant things that we can learn from this incident with Mephibosheth’s nurse:
1. Mephibosheth’s nurse must have never heard the idiom “haste makes waste.” This proverb tells us in three words that one does not save any time by working too fast and hurrying will only cause one to make mistakes. Mephibosheth’s nurse should have safely carried him to safety. She could have still fled quickly, but she should have fled quickly with care.
Many matters in life do require us to be urgent, but before we rush off, it would do us good to take a moment and think. Will our haste put someone else’s life in danger? Will our haste cause us to injure ourselves? Will our haste cause us to do a sloppy job, only to have to come back and take more time to do the job again? It is far better to be slow and sure than hasty and full of regrets later.
2. Mephibosheth’s nurse saw God give her unfortunate accident a happy ending. Mephibosheth’s nurse probably felt horrible knowing that she was responsible for the child that had been placed in her care becoming a cripple. At only five years old, Mephibosheth had just lost his grandfather. He had lost his father. We aren’t told what happened to his mother. And now, here he is a cripple. Mephibosheth’s nurse made a horrible mistake. She probably heaped loads of blame and guilt on herself for causing him this added pain. Yet God was already working things out.
Several years after David became king, he began to think about Jonathan’s family. If you remember, David and Jonathan had been really good friends despite the madness and jealousy of Jonathan’s father, Saul. David wanted to show kindness to the household of Jonathan. A servant named Ziba told David about Mephibosheth and David promptly called him up and told him that he would eat at the royal table for the rest of his days.
2 Samuel 9:12-13 reads: “‘As for Mephibosheth,’ said the king, ‘he shall eat at my table like one of the king’s sons.’…So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem, for he ate continually at the king’s table. And he was lame in both his feet.”
Like the nurse, we mess up in life too. Sometimes, our mistakes are small. At other times, they are quite large. Whatever the case, we don’t have to walk around with our heads hung in shame, beating up on ourselves because we aren’t perfect. We don’t have to take a guilt trip everyday. We don’t have to carry a burden of blame.
God has a way of turning our mistakes into messages and our unfortunate accidents into things of beauty. We are prone to haste and waste and spills and falls. We are messy, messy people. Yet God creates masterpieces out of us. When God looks at us, He does not see our sins. He sees His Saviour.
So lift up your head. God is already working things out.