This is my recap and response to a message that sunk DEEP into hurting places in my life. Inadequacy is something that haunts all of us. For some it may be more subtle, but it is definitely still there. There are few messages I’ve heard that create an “everyone I know needs to hear this” response. This is one of them. I was only there because I overslept and missed the service where I was going to go. Just so happened this was the day the youth and children’s pastors were giving the message. Accidents just don’t exist. You can listen to the original message here.
At 28 years old, I am still only 5′ 1″. As you can imagine, I get plenty of short jokes. I’m the arm rest for tall friends. The Pastors also brought up the turmoil this sign created in their childhood, and as parents for their children.
This sign had the power to make or break any trip to an amusement park. As young children, we waited year after year until we would finally make the cutoff for all of the big kid rides. You knew your future of theme parks was set when you measured up to the height requirement sign. David in the Old Testament is no stranger to the agony of not measuring up.
David was the youngest of Jesse’s 8 sons. He started as a shepherd. In his time, shepherds were the lowest in society. It was a place no one wanted to be doing a job no one else wanted to do. He spent most of his time out in the field tending to the sheep and playing his harp, slingshot in hand. We know from the Bible that David became skilled as a shepherd, What we do know is that this wasn’t a desirable position.It was lonely and difficult. I’m sure he became restless. There was no promotion, no opportunity to do more. This sounds like the ordinary life of an ordinary shepherd who would probably always be ordinary.
Maybe I’m not the only one who relates to that last sentence a little too much. You go to your average job with your average paycheck and return to your average house in your average little town. It all seems pretty insignificant. Perhaps you’re a college student. You’re so close to entering the work force, but college doesn’t seem to end. You feel like there has to be more for you out there than taking class after class. Or maybe you’re a parent who feels like being a parent has become the only life you have. Everything revolves around school schedules, extra curricular activities, and your child’s activities.
It is so easy to get caught up in comparison. We see other people who look like they’re living the good life. They have it all figured out ,and they look sort of glamorous in comparison to us over here, sitting in our fields. In times like these, it is so difficult to accept that God has called me to the exact place that I am. I am not in this field by accident. God has positioned me here, and he has specific things for me to do. I see it as a pain and punishment instead of the gift it is when God invites us to be a part of his work.
During David’s shepherd days, Saul was king over Israel. There came a point where Saul no longer feared God and stopped leading the nation in a way that honored Him. In 1 Samuel 16, we see the result of Saul’s godlessness. The prophet, Samuel, was told by God to go to Jesse’s house to anoint the next king. Jesse lines up his sons, but David was still out in the field. Samuel eventually has to ask Jesse if there are other sons because the first seven are not who the LORD has chosen. This is the point that David is brought into the situation. The Bible doesn’t state why Jesse doesn’t call David in from the beginning.
In our lives, we have all had these David moments of being left out and forgotten, Maybe your coworker gets the promotion you have earned. You’re the one left out of a group outing or family function. It’s hurtful and damaging to be the eighth son left in the fields while your seven brothers have been gathered. However, because David was out in the fields, he probably didn’t know what was going on until he arrived. As the story goes, David is anointed as the one God has chosen to be the next King of Israel. When Samuel incorrectly assumed the oldest of Jesse’s son, the LORD corrects the prophet and reminds him-
“The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
God was looking for someone pure in heart that would honor Him through their leadership. While the obvious candidates were found lacking, David was found acceptable in the sight of God. After David is anointed and Samuel leaves, David simply returns to his flock. There’s no party, no parade, no celebration. He goes back to his responsibilities until the time comes.
Seasons of waiting can be brutal. We know what it’s like that painful year when we are centimeters away from being tall enough to get on any amusement park ride we want. The sign brushes out head if we stand on our tip toes ever so slightly. We can almost taste that moment, but it is still out of our reach. We are called to have faith that those seasons of waiting are not accidental. There is divine purpose in each moment of them. We know from David’s story that his work with the harp and slingshot play an important role in his future. He would eventually become the king, the one referred to as a man after God’s own heart, the one who slayed the giant. When we remember the linage of Jesus, it is often brought back to Him being “of the House of David.”
As you wait in your field, have faith in the things God has promised you. He has not forgotten, and you are not invisible to Him. If God wanted someone else to do what He has called you to- He would have called them to do it. He has called each of us to specific times and places and situations. God is looking for the pure of heart in this generation to proclaim His truth and tend to His flock here on Earth. Earthly standards cannot stand in comparison to the standards of God and how He equips those He has called. We must simply learn to have faith and trust through those seasons of waiting.