I have always been fascinated with stories about heroes - people who change the world on their own, people who lived in a shadow but one day came out into the light and surprised everyone. Since I was a kid I dreamt to be like that. First I thought of being a firefighter rescuing people from burning buildings, then a soldier, who in his shrewdness rescues the world from destruction by disclosing an ugly conspiracy. Then I dreamt to be a scientist who tames vicious viruses and rescues the lives of millions.
I always knew that I wanted to be a hero.
Once I read a true story that brought my childhood dreams back. It talked about a few brothers, one of which became a hero. His name was David. When he was still a boy he defeated a Philistine warrior who was much bigger than himself, experienced in battle, and well-equipped. How did it happen? The answer is clear – because God was with him. But a few years ago God showed me something very disturbing in this story. It can be well illustrated by a fragment of a conversation between David and King Saul, which took place briefly before David’s fight with the Philistine:
And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, for you are but a youth, and he has been a man of war from his youth.” but David said to Saul,
“Your servant used to keep sheep for his father. And when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth. And if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him. Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.” And David said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine…”
1 Sam 17:33-37
Always, whenever we hear about a heroic act, we focus on the act itself. However, the source of strength necessary for this very act is a result of previous experiences. David had been learning courage, faithfulness, consistency, and relying on God, long before he met Goliath. For years he had patiently shepherded flocks, took care of them, fought with wild beasts and, in consequence, his faith and trust in God had been growing. All of it was needed to be ready for the day when a certain man started defying the armies of the living God. All of that was necessary to be ready to meet Goliath. That was God’s training field – blueprints for heart preparation and its tempering for a momentous trial of courage and strength, all of which were in God and from God. I am sure that God has a plan for you.
Tend the sheep, before you attack your Goliath.
Do you have any other “small” tasks to do? Do you think that they are too small? That you deserve to be commissioned for a greater task?
Jesus says in a parable: Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. (Matt 25:23)
Be faithful in small things as these are probably the beginning of your training program.