It started out as an ordinary day. David was out tending his father's sheep just like he had done hundreds of times. Yet this day would be like no other. He had awakened that morning as an obscure shepherd boy, the least of his brothers. When he went to sleep that night, he would be the anointed king.
There was a lot of living to do in between the time David was anointed king and when he actually ascended to the throne and was recognized as king. Years passed, in fact. The day after his anointing, he didn't head for the palace. In fact, he didn't even head for Jerusalem. He headed back to the sheep. He was the anointed King of Israel, God's chosen one but it would be days, months and even years before he would ascend to the throne. God had promised him that he would be king but... he had to wait.
Most of us do not play the waiting game very well, myself included. We want things now and when we don't get them, we look for reasons. Perhaps God forgot, maybe we didn't ask loud enough, perhaps we don't have enough faith, maybe it is the fault of someone else... we can come up with a myriad of reasons.
How about this one... God will fulfill His promise in the time and the manner in which He sees fit. Do we ever consider that?
So what took place in between the time of David's anointing and his coronation? A lot! During his time as a shepherd, he was able to spend time in solitude with God. He learned powerful lessons about how God was his shepherd and when he came up against an enemy, the Lord would help him win the battle. This came in handy when he faced Goliath.
During this time, he became well-known to the people. His exploits in battle became famous. He had the opportunity to view palace life first-hand and even married into the royal family. Can you imagine the education he must have gotten during this period of his life? I cannot help but think Dave was a far better king than he would have been as a result of this education.
He spent years on the run. When you think about it, those years spent in hiding enabled him to become intimately acquainted with the land and the people. This is a key component to becoming a good leader.
During his time in the wilderness... traveling a "dark path" if you will, David learned to trust God implicitly. He had to depend upon God to meet all of his needs and truthfully, he probably had no other choice. There was a price upon his head.
David did not have to be in the "wilderness" for so long. He could have led a rebellion against Saul. He was popular enough with the people that he would have had no trouble getting followers. He had the favor of God and Saul didn't. David even had the opportunity to take Saul's life while he lay sleeping in a cave which hid David and his men. David could have cut short his time on the run but he didn't. Why not? Because he wanted to do things God's way.
What about us? Do we want everything to be done in accordance to our timeline and our plans or are we willing to wait on God and do things His way... in His time? When God says wait, do we busy ourselves being about His work anyway and eagerly learning the lessons He sets before us, or do we cry like spoiled children because God says "wait"?
May we trust that God knows best and be willing to wait on Him... even when we don't understand.
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/alancleaver/2661425133/