We all love the story of the shepherd boy David who was an unknown youngest brother tending sheep before he went and defeated the menacing giant Goliath (1 Samuel 17). He went quickly from obscurity to hero, but I am reminded that there were a lot of “in-between” seasons in David’s life. There were hidden seasons of development that weren’t seen or celebrated by the crowds. 1 Samuel 16:10-13 tells us that the prophet Samuel anointed David as king, he was God’s hand-selected and chosen one, but after being chosen, David went right back to shepherding sheep. Can you imagine knowing that you are God’s chosen future king, anointed by the prophet, but waking up day after day still in the secret place surrounded by sheep dung?
Surely he had to question God’s voice and timing. When, God? When? And yet God knew the perfect timing and training that David would need to reign as Israel’s king. David’s all-knowing heavenly Father wanted time alone with him to teach him to know His voice. In the future, outside of the quiet pasture, people’s opinions and his kingly responsibilities would shout at David, so he would need to know God’s voice to remain a man after God’s own heart.
God knows the perfect timing for our training seasons too, doesn’t He? But just like kids on a road trip, we find ourselves constantly asking, “Are we there yet? Are we there yet? How many more minutes until we get there?” Our God has the map and the GPS set. He knows exactly when and where he wants us to arrive and the divine connections He has set up for us when we get there. He wants us to trust our all-knowing driver and enjoy the trip.
In-between seasons are very important. They strengthen our faith to believe what has been promised before we see it. (Hebrews 11:1—Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.) And just like David, these quiet and often lonely periods of time help us hear and know His voice clearly. We tend to want to rush through the in-between seasons or even despise them, but just like a young boy has to go through the changing of his voice, pimples, and gangly limbs, it is all part of how God has designed things.
There may even come a day when we look back and miss these quiet seasons of transition. Don’t you think there were days that, after David was finally the reigning king and had all that responsibility on his shoulders, in his humanness he longed for some quiet days in the pasture? If you are in an in-between season, just know that God can be trusted and is faithful to perform what He has promised you. I pray that today you are choosing to enjoy the peace-filled pasture He has provided for you. He is your peace because He is the Prince of Peace!