“I’ve fought the lion and I’ve fought the bear, now into Goliath’s eyes I stare, but God is still with me and so I prepare a feast for the beasts and the birds of the air.”
The Lord gave me this poem during a rough stretch toward the end of my college career. He impressed upon my heart something that I hadn’t quite realized until my senior courses came rushing at me, with my future and career hard on their heels. David wasn’t ready to fight Goliath until he was ready to fight Goliath.
While this may sound like a simple statement, it bears exploring for the simple fact that many of us try to fight Goliath before we’re ready. God used the trials and tribulations of shepherding to prepare David for war, and sometimes I tend to overlook the everyday development the Lord inserts into my schedule. The young man who was tasked with tending sheep was preparing to lead a nation. The spritely sharp shooter was practicing to topple a nine-foot-tall terror. The introspective artist was penning songs that would lead worship for generations. In examining the ways God prepared David, we can see how He daily prepares us.
While finishing my fourth year as a teacher, I have noticed growth comes gradually for both my students and myself. Children that enter my classroom in August are by no means ready to take a high-stakes standardized test, but when it arrives in the spring they tackle the behemoth with confidence. Now that summer is knocking on the door, I look back and see how each presentation, parent-teacher conference, and professional development session has helped me become a better educator. It brings to mind the reassuring promise of Jeremiah 29:11, in the New Living Translation, which proclaims, “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the LORD. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’”
To my recently-graduated friends, take care not to get caught up in the rush of a career or ministry, thinking that everything must be accomplished as soon as possible. David was anointed a full fifteen years before he took the throne. I know God has spoken to many of you wondrous vision and dreams, but be patient. Practice your craft, learn to be excellent in every aspect, and trust in His timing. The giants will come soon enough. The favor you cultivate with daily faithfulness will serve you well in management. The humility you build cleaning a church will keep you grounded when you are behind the mic. The skills and knowledge you gain each day will mold you into who God has called you to be. The God who is with you in the battle is also by your side while you prepare for it, even if you don’t realize it at the time.
Be blessed and encouraged!