Shepherd boy reference below.
On one of my recent morning walks near our home in Mexico I passed a shepherd boy watching the family’s sheep. The sheep were resting, many were lying down in what seemed to me to be a temporary sheepfold nestled under some trees.
Because the sheep weren’t going anywhere, neither was the shepherd boy. He was just sitting there, though in this modern scene of shepherd boy and sheep the young man was focusing on a cell phone or a small gaming device.
The scene reminded me of the most famous king of all time, King David. He started out as a shepherd boy watching the family’s sheep. Like this shepherd boy I encountered, I’m sure young David had much time on his hands. Unlike his modern counterpart, David didn’t have technology to help him pass the time. David apparently spent much of his time composing poems, what we call Psalms in the Bible, and putting them to music with his portable stringed instrument we know he played.
Something else David did with his spare time was to practice hitting things with his slingshot. This came in handy when he had to sling a stone right between the eyes of the giant Goliath.
Of course life wasn’t all peaceful and relaxing for young David when he was tending the family’s flock. He had to find green pastures and still waters for the sheep he shepherded. Then, too, he had to risk his own life in protecting them from lions and bears; we have it on record he had to kill both to protect his sheep.
King David’s early years prepared him for what God would call him to do in the later years. He would slay Goliath by the help of God, but also with the help of years of practice with the slingshot. He would fearlessly lead military battles with the same faith and confidence he had when facing the lion and the bear. He would use many of the same leadership principles being king as he had when being shepherd. His poems/hymns would become part of the Bible, part of the book of Psalms, and until the end of time be a comfort and encouragement to millions.
God prepared David for his multi-faceted life’s work while as a boy and young man shepherding a flock of sheep. God has prepared us for His call upon our lives too! Whatever opportunities, challenges, setbacks, troubles, or whatever else we face, God knew we would face it! He planned for it! He’s prepared us for it! Our past, even the pain of the past, can be used by God for good. We have what it takes to face the present and will have what it takes to face the future. We just have to be open to His presence and help in order to fully access the prep work He’s already done in our lives!
“He chose David his servant and too him from the sheep pens; from tending the sheep he brought him to be shepherd of his people Jacob, of Israel his inheritance. And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.” Psalm 78:70-72