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Column: PASTOR’S PONDERINGS – God Put You There

By: Steve Wilmot

Scarecrow Wanted

A volunteer is wanted to work as a scarecrow in a field near Didcot (weekends only). No previous experience is needed as full training will be given. Must be able to stand up for several hours without a break and have no fear of birds.

As you probably know, David was a shepherd before he was a king. Wonder what a help wanted ad for a shepherd might say.

Shepherd Wanted

Looking for a boy who doesn’t mind being caked in dirt for days at a time or being alone outdoors. The qualified candidate will possess patience to endlessly chase sheep who wander away from the flock, creativity to cope with boredom, courage to fight off lions, bears, wolves, and poisonous snakes who attack the sheep, and the ability to find quiet waters and green pastures to provide the flock’s nutritional needs.

Minimum wage pay. Long, hard hours. No medical or life insurance. No 401k. Apply in person to Jesse of Bethlehem.

Surely that’s the reason the youngest son in the family got stuck watching the sheep. It was a lousy, boring, dirty, lonely, frustrating, and dangerous job.

Not something a child asked what he wants to be when he grows up would include anywhere in his Top 100.

David could have spent hours each day griping and whining about being stuck with the stupid sheep. Might have asked God to give his mom another son who would get the job forced on him so David wouldn’t have too anymore.

David may not have liked being a shepherd, but he was right where God wanted him. He didn’t know it at the time.

It took years before David saw how God put him with the sheep to shape him into the man he became. A man he could use mightily.

As he lay on his death bed and reviewed his life, David finally understood what a mystery to him had been when it was happening.

He finally grasped what God had been doing when he made him shepherd the family flock. A smile must have crossed his face now that he perceived how God fit all the puzzle pieces of his life into a finished masterpiece.

Here’s what we need to grasp: Everything that happened to David in his childhood developed the skills, attitudes, and character he needed later so God could fulfill the master plan he had devised for David before he was born.

God left nothing to chance. Nothing was haphazard. Nothing wasted. God orchestrated every detail in David’s life, even when David didn’t have a clue what God was up to.

As a shepherd sitting alone deep into the night, David taught himself to play the harp. He wrote dozens of songs (psalms) that readied him to strengthen himself in the Lord in the future when he encountered times of danger and depression. And David learned it while a shepherd.

As a shepherd defending his father’s flock, David learned to face his fears when he killed a lion and a bear who carried off his lambs (1 Samuel 17.34-37).

As a shepherd, David developed an extraordinary skill with his sling – an ability he needed when he answered Goliath’s challenge and killed him. And David developed these skills as a shepherd.

As a shepherd, David came to realize how to care for the needs of his sheep, how to keep them together, and how to guide them where they needed to go – all necessities he needed when he became Israel’s king — abilities David acquired as a shepherd.

The Bible doesn’t reveal David’s attitude during the many years he shepherded his father’s sheep. But what would it be if he knew then what he eventually knew in his 20s and 30s and 40s?

Every gripe and complaint would be replaced with thanksgiving. Each prayer to God asking him to find someone to take his job would change into pleas to recognize what skills, attitudes, and character God was focused on transforming.

Any resistance would convert into eager cooperation with God as he chipped away the rough edges in his character.

God’s modus operandi to teach the skills and develop God-like attitudes and character is the same today. He continues to operate in your life like he did in David’s.

Maybe you’re in a situation you’d give anything to get out of. Perhaps you’re restless and confused about why God didn’t deliver you out of the mess you’re in. Possibly you’ve lost all hope and are begging God to rescue you.

Whatever circumstance you find yourself in today, God intentionally positioned you there so he can develop the skills, attitudes, and character you need to fulfill his master plan for your life.

God orchestrates every event in your life. Ones you welcome with open arms, and ones you want to go away.

Even when you don’t understand why, God has you exactly where he wants you because there are lessons you need to learn you can’t learn anywhere else. If you could, God would have you there.


Steve Wilmot is a former Edgerton, Ohio area pastor who now seeks “to still bear fruit in old age” through writing. He is the author of seven books designed to assist believers to make steady progress on their spiritual journey.


The post Column: PASTOR’S PONDERINGS – God Put You There first appeared on The Village Reporter.

Source: The Village Reporter

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