I have discovered that to be in ministry, or to perform great feats for God, I don’t need to go to Bible College or do strength training. I have decided that I will look after sheep instead. Or be the receptionist at the Wholeness Centre.
David was the youngest son of Jesse, of Bethlehem, and it was his task to mind the family’s flock of sheep. Day in and day out, taking the sheep out of the fold to pasture, taking them back to the fold in the evening. Sitting out in the fields all day, looking after
sheep. Finding grass for them to eat and water for them to drink. Mind you, not just any water, it had to be still water, not running water. Protecting them from wild animals, his only bit of excitement in an otherwise boring day. Making sure they didn’t wander off or fall over a cliff. Making up songs and singing them to the sheep. Being away from his family all day, and ‘out of the loop’ of whatever they were doing. Sling shotting stones at jam tins on boulders. Having to take a cut lunch every day when the family was home having (lamb) roast.
I can’t see in Scripture that David ever complained about his lot. He didn’t slack off and was diligent to do what was expected of him. And without him even knowing it, he was in training.
Fast forward to when he told King Saul he was going to kill Goliath. Saul ridiculed him:
Saul answered, “You can’t go out and fight against this Philistine. You’re not even a soldier! Goliath has been fighting in wars since he was a boy.” 1 Samuel 17:33 ERV
But David said to Saul, “There were times when I was taking care of my father’s sheep that wild animals came to take some sheep from the flock. Once there was a lion and another time, a bear. I chased that wild animal, attacked it, and took the sheep from its mouth. The wild animal jumped on me, but I caught it by the fur under its mouth. And I hit it and killed it. I killed both a lion and a bear like that! And I will kill that foreigner, Goliath, just like them. Goliath will die because he made fun of the army of the living God. The Lord saved me from the lion and the bear. He will also save me from this Philistine.”1 Samuel 17:34 – 37 ERV
What we might think were boring days for David were in fact training days.
And that wonderful book of Psalms that brings so much comfort, actually started out as sheep songs.
I have come to the conclusion that whatever God wants me to do for Him, He has got me in training already.