Since I was a boy, I have been fascinated with the life of David. I am particularly intrigued about his time as a shepherd.
It’s important to know that no one wanted to be a shepherd. The shepherding duties in the family were passed from one child to another as the younger child reached an age of responsibility. As much as he spoke of that experience fondly, David never chose to go back to shepherding. In itself shepherding was a form of pain and trouble which people were happy to finish.
This is what we should get from David’s time as a shepherd: What he learned as a shepherd prepared him for the rest of your life.
When David faced the giant, he was ready. He didn’t face something totally different. He had been here before. In fact, he told Goliath almost those exact words. David had experience to know the same God who delivered him from the paw of the lion and paw of the bear would deliver him from the giant as well. He knew this only because of the trouble of the past. Remember facing a bear or a lion is real trouble. David experienced real fear early in life which helped him later.
What you are going through right now is preparing you for all you will face later on. That doesn’t mean we want to face trouble. I certainly don’t. That would be an abnormal attitude. Learning to count it all joy when you face various trials is very different from wanting trouble to come.
But one very positive way we can look at the hardships of life is see them as stepping stones and preparatory experiences. They are preparing us for the future.
Think of the life of Jesus. When His trial came, had he ever gone through something like that? Of course he had. At the beginning of His earthly ministry, He was taken up to be tempted of the devil. His hard time early on prepared Him for a harder time at the climactic moment of history. He was prepared by prayer and prior experience for what He faced.
God will use our troubles to prepare us as well.
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