‘I Wanted To See What You Were Made Of’
In 1993 Crown Prince Abdullah became King of Jordan. His father, a king before him, King Hussein, died of cancer that year. King Abdullah told a story in a Swedish TV interview that when his father was on his deathbed, he admitted to his son that he knew his son faced challenges in his army career. Before his father died, King Abdullah II enjoyed a 20+ year career in the Jordanian army. But life wasn’t easy for him as he rose through the ranks.
In the interview he points out that there were those who made his military career difficult, which made the life of his soldiers difficult. And on his father’s deathbed, his father told him that he knew his life was hard in the military- all the taunting, back fighting, and just plain hope that Crown Prince Abdullah would fail in his military career. But his father said not one word in that 20 years. It was when he was on his deathbed that he admitted to his son that he knew all that he had gone through and he said to his son, “I could have stepped in but I didn’t. I had to see what you were made of.” King Hussein knew that one day Abdullah would become king and ‘to whom much is given, much is required’ (Luke 12:48).
Jesus could have called more than twelve legions of angels to release him from being arrested, but He didn’t because of love (Matthew 26:53). God was also watching to see what He was made of. Jesus, heavenly beings, humans- we all have a choice and it’s in our choices that show us and others what we’re truly made of.
I find it interesting that King Hussein never even let his son know that he knew what was going on. When I face challenges, my parents are the first to know. But with complete silence about the issue, his son kept everything inside. He may have felt alone, but, his father was standing in the wings to see if he could handle the pressure.
God often does the same with us. He watched David as he was so close in murdering his enemy King Saul, but David didn’t do it. God spent generations seeing if the Israelites would obey and follow Him fully. God watched the Virgin Mary all her life to see if she could handle being the mother of the Savior of the world at the age of 12/13/14. And, He watches us. In the choices of life, do we do good? Do we seek to obey Him? When someone does us wrong, do we give up or press on? Challenges will either make us stronger leaders or just plain weak.
I can imagine king is far more challenging than being in the army- or at least it has a different set of challenges than his [King Abdullah II] army career. But the opposition he faced in the army was a foundation to prepare him for running a kingdom. The challenges you face are a foundation for what God has planned for you in the future, so don’t lose heart.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9, NIV)