Some people want to be great people, fearless leaders, important persons in their business, etc… And I’ve seen on more than one occasion people’s resentment when they don’t get that position or aren’t raised up. In some sense we all struggle this with in our yearning to be in the positions our hearts cry out to.
When we come to David and Goliath, this iconic story, we see this young boy go up against Goliath. But prior to taking on Goliath, Saul questions him on his basis of experience. He tells him plainly,
“You can’t go fight this Philistine. You’re just a youth, and he’s been a warrior since he was young” (1 Sam 17:33).
And had David only been a youth and no more, Saul would and should have dismissed him. But David actually gives his resume of experience. Correctly he hadn’t been fighting as a soldier, but he had taken on bears and lions as they had attacked his sheep. Instead of letting these beasts drag away the lambs…he
“went after it, struck it down and rescued the lamb” (1 Sam 17:35).
He went after it.
In the face of danger over something as small as a lamb, he went after it. In doing so he gained experienced in going to battle to against ferocious beasts, and even more importantly he gained the confidence that God’s hand helped him to defeat the lion and the bear (1 Sam 17:37). He fought the battle in front of him, even just as a lowly shepherd.
And it was just a sheep. But because he wasn’t passive and actually did his job of protecting the sheep, he gained an important life experience and confidence in the Lord.
This is what qualified him to take on the Philistine. And actually what qualified him to become king, because he knew it was the Lord who helped him. It wasn’t just words, he had come to understand God’s power.
Had David just walked away from the lioness when it had its mouth on the sheep, he would have been justified in losing the sheep. But instead he “went after it” and rescued it with God’s help.
Because he did this, he came to grown in the confidence that God was with him and could be trusted. This was going to be crucial for everything he did.
It means that everything we do (or don’t do), is a means to grow in confidence in the Lord’s power in us and through us. In our everyday we life we grow in the richness of our relationship. And it’s in the trials we face that we grow in our confidence of Him. These trials are important so that we can be raised up to greater levels of leadership.
Does that mean we are perfect? Not at all. Does that mean we aren’t weak, broken and doubting in the midst of trials? Not at all. But when we face trials, do we persevere through our weakness? Do we trust in His power? Do we get back up again after we fail? What’s in our hearts?