Have you ever sat back and truly wondered what it would have been like to witness the spectacle that we all know as David and Goliath? Immerse yourself with me if you will.
You are an Israelite soldier respecting your duties and following Saul’s orders to gather near the Valley of Elah. You’re surrounded by your brothers in arms awaiting further commands. Across the way you can see the Philistine forces already gathered. The bright sun reflecting off their superior metal armor sends a chill down your spine. The Philistine’s begin to part to the left and the right as what looks like a man mounted on a horse immerges from the ranks. As he draws near, you can feel the collective fear building among yourself and the men around you as it becomes evident that this man is not mounted on a horse, but rather standing on his own two feet.
He is the largest human you’ve ever seen. You’ve heard of the “Giants of Gath” but one has never stood before you. He bolsters a booming voice that shouts defiance towards you and your God. Day in and day out he continues to defy the ranks, but your king has made no rebuttal. Twice a day for forty days the giant struts haughtily before you.
One day you notice a commotion among the men and see an unfamiliar face that belongs to a boy lacking in stature, much too young to be a soldier, wearing the king’s armor. You leave them be and get back to your post. Before you know it you see the young boy traversing the valley towards the giant with intention in his steps. He looks up to the skies speaking inaudible words as he presses forward.
He shifts his focus to the giant and they begin an exchange. In an instant the giant begins to charge, covering a remarkable distance with each stride. Poised and unfazed the young boy begins to move forward and within seconds a thunderous boom fills the valley as the giant’s lifeless body sinks into its soils. Victory.
The bible speaks of the tremendous clout that David acquired after his pivotal victory. But for a moment, imagine if an event of this caliber were to happen in our modern era. David would in an instant be thrust into fame and virality. He would gain a platform unlike any other. His social media numbers would explode, book deals would pour in, there would be endless opportunities to speak to the masses and he could structure a lucrative life from what, to the bystander, seemed like an overnight success story.
So many of us are familiar with the story of David and Goliath, but few of us have given our attention to the foundational prequel: Patience in the Pasture. A story of patient practice, humble obedience, and cultivated faithfulness in a space where a young David was called to; the pasture.
I wonder how many of us are calling on God to bring us a pivotal Goliath moment when in our current season God has called us to the pasture. We are failing to see that it was David’s patient persistence to obey God in the pasture that would lead him to the palace. God was using the “shepherd season” of David’s life as the training ground for the victories that God had already set before him. And the tools God chose to use? A harp and a sling. Neither of which involve brute strength or natural-born talent, but rather patient practice and faith in the process.
You see it was in the pasture that David learned to play the harp. A skill David likely believed he developed as a means of passing the time and calming the flock was the very thing God planned to use for his entry into the palace. It was God who in 1 Samuel 16 sent a spirit to torment Saul. It was God who thrust David into the minds of Saul’s officials when asked to find someone who played the harp, and it was God who placed David in the pasture, allowing him the capacity to develop the very abilities on the harp that landed him in the palace.
The sling is no different. It was in the pasture that David was developed. He did not have plans to go to war and vindicate his people, he was faithfully serving as a shepherd to his flock. Defending his sheep from the impending dangers of the pasture. But God… God had bigger plans. It is and always is God who orchestrates the elevation. Our role is to cultivate faithfulness in whatever season God deems proper for our position. It is in His timing and His alone that the seasons will change.
What if David chose to resent the pasture and the skills that came with it? What if David chose to step into mediocrity and arrogance believing that his persona was above God’s placement?
Each and every one of us has a hypothetical palace God is moving us towards. They won’t all resemble David’s in the aspects of fame and fortune, but they will all require the same patient practice, humble obedience, and cultivated faithfulness in the current season God has placed you.
What is it that God is teaching you in this season that He will use in the next? In the end… God needs your obedience, not your status. Seek patience in your current pasture, and let God determine the timing of your entry into the palace of His choosing.
- Quinn Rivera // Humbled Daily Co-founder, doctor in training and aspiring professional lover of life.