I think we all go through times where we feel trapped. When it comes down to it, there are only two ways to handle it, and the route you take will have lasting consequences.
You can allow the walls of depression and discouragement to close in—this can take years to repair. Or you can open your heart to recognize God’s purpose in the pain or anxiety you are experiencing.
God’s plan extends farther than we can imagine. David, a shepherd boy, was out in the fields day after day tending his father’s sheep. Reasonably, he may have wondered if this was all there was for his life. But as the Bible tells us, he constantly set his heart on God.
After rejecting Saul as King of Israel, God called Samuel to travel to anoint the new King He had chosen—one with a heart like His. The Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
Samuel met with Jesse, who presented seven of his sons, but God denied each one. There was only one son left, but he was out tending sheep. They brought David to meet Samuel, and the Lord spoke, “Arise, anoint him, for this is he.” Samuel took a horn of oil and poured it over David’s head, anointing him in front of his brothers. And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward.
David began as a servant and became a ruler. He was faithful while tending sheep and later granted a nation.
Did David immediately become a king? No! Did David receive an instruction manual on being a king? No! Once Samuel anointed him, he left! David came in from the field, was told he would be king, and then returned to the sheep.
David’s season of hibernation was not yet over. There was still a waiting period. The purpose of hibernation is to conserve energy, and God used it in David’s life to get him ready for what was to come. Humbly, obediently, and quietly he continued tending his father’s fields. But he knew something was stirring—he knew there was something more.
God developed in him the character of a king.
To be anointed means God has seen the heart in you, but your character is only acquired. This period of slowness or waiting in your life is not without purpose. If you rise each morning, allowing God to reveal it to you, hope and motivation will replace the struggle of not knowing and feeling trapped. As you may have the heart to do something big in your life, you must also develop the character to carry it out—just as David did.
“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1