God’s Timing, According to David

God reminded me about the story of David recently. I had remembered bits and pieces, such as David was minding his own business taking care of sheep when he was anointed by the prophet to be the next king after Saul. But he wasn’t crowned for a while after that anointing. During his time of waiting, he killed Goliath, tended to the sheep a little longer, played music for Saul to ease his tormented soul, and oh yeah, ran for his life as Saul tried to kill him.

I got curious, though, because I couldn’t remember how many years it was between the time David was anointed as king before he took the throne, so I started rereading about his life. And God showed me so much more than I had remembered.

First, most kings were anointed in public, in front of people and it was a big deal. David was anointed in secret. God wanted Samuel, the prophet who anointed him, to do it without King Saul’s knowledge. It wasn’t time for David to step into power, but he was anointed nevertheless.

Second, after he was anointed, he went back to tending sheep. Not even his own sheep but the sheep of his father. Back to the job he knew best, not grudgingly but willingly. And soon after that, he added a second job. Playing music to soothe Saul’s tormented soul. He was still tending sheep but when Saul wanted him, he came. No questions asked.

He also killed Goliath, ended up moving into the palace and being a part of Saul’s entourage, marrying Saul’s daughter, becoming best friends with Saul’s son (Jonathan), and eventually running for his life because Saul was set on killing him.

While trying to stay away from Saul’s sword, twice he had the opportunity to kill Saul. And twice David refused, leaving justice in God’s hands. He didn’t want to rule on the throne in his timing. He was waiting for God’s perfect timing, and God was using this extended waiting period to grow the characteristics that he would need during his reign.

Eventually David became king. He is known as a man after God’s own heart, despite committing adultery and murder. He had a heart that was soft toward God, always wanting to do God’s will even when he messed up.

God used David’s life to encourage me. God chose David and He knew exactly where to find him. David was willing and ready to submit to God’s plan, whether that meant stepping into his anointing immediately or waiting 15 years. He trusted God to take care of him. David didn’t take control and try to do things his way, but instead relied on God and His timing. As a result, God was able to use David in a mighty way. He grew the characteristics in David before they were needed and when David messed up, he eventually humbled himself and asked forgiveness.

I want to be like David. Minding my business, working with joy in the assignments God has given, ready to step into my anointing in God’s time, not mine. I trust God knows where I am. He placed me here. He is teaching me things I will need when the time is right. He is protecting and providing for me and our family and when I fully step into ministry, I will be ready to be effective because of the lessons God’s taught me and the tests I’ve passed.

In the meantime, I’m happy tending the sheep of my father’s house. For me, that means being the best wife, mother, employee, writer, speaker, and podcaster I can be. I want to continue to share God’s encouragement and joy to those who need it most. Because when I show God I’m choosing to work hard where He has placed me, then He can choose to use me anywhere else He wants me.

© Cheri Swalwell 2021

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