“But David said to Saul, ‘Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from it’s mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them…'”
1 Samuel 17: 32-36
Do you ever feel stuck? Like maybe you were meant for more than where you currently are? I bet David felt like that when he was out tending sheep. All of his other brothers were back home with Dad, getting to meet Samuel (1 Samuel 16). David was left out, with his shepherds crook in hand.
The brilliance of what unfolds in 1 Samuel 17 is that God used David’s time in that field with his sheep as an intentional training field. When all of the Israelite soldiers were cowering before Goliath, David saw him as just another lion to be tamed!
When I first became involved in leading a ministry, I was also working full time at a job where I felt I was making a difference in the lives of others, but I knew God had something more for me. While I LOVED working with teams and brainstorming solutions for them, my job also required many hours of sitting in front of a computer, writing reports (blah) and creating materials for students with disabilities. However, while I was typing away, I would listen over and over to Andy Stanley Leadership Podcasts. I just sent one of those podcasts to a co-worker today, and realized that the first time I listened to it was five years ago, and my leadership paradigm was rocked when I heard it. (The Most Powerful Person in the Room.) If I hadn’t been “stuck” in front of a computer writing reports for four years, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to soak in the all of the information that I did, and then be able to apply it like I do today.
During that same period of time, I had a couple key people within ministry believe enough in me to invite me to church staff meetings and others who consistently poured into me. This is where I learned about the heart and culture of the ministry where I have served for the past several years and am now employed.
Now, don’t get me wrong. All this does not mean settling for the situation you’re in right now. It does not mean to stop dreaming or to stop striving for something different that God may have for you. It just means that when God has you ‘here’ in order to prepare you for ‘there’, take in everything you can.
My advise? Don’t focus on that feeling of being stuck; look for the opportunity to soak in what God wants you to learn RIGHT NOW. I believe that only then will God open up the doors for you. And when He does, there will be a floodgate of provision and opportunity unlike anything you could imagine. THAT is the time to press forward and lean in to what God has for you next.
Are you in an “intentional training field” right now? What is God teaching you during this time?
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'”