We go through many periods of transition throughout our lives; some may be unique to us and our particular circumstances, others are common to all humanity. This is not an unusual occurrence but a natural part of life. What transition do you find yourself navigating at the moment? You may be transitioning from one job to another, or from a junior position in your company to a management position, or one level of education to another, maybe it is from one career to another, or even from being employed to being unemployed. Maybe you are transitioning from being single to being in a relationship, or from a courting relationship to marriage. Whatever it is, periods of transition can lead to many struggles and even feelings of fear, self-doubt, anxiety and uncertainty. However, your struggles are preparing you for your purpose. Silence feelings of fear, self-doubt, anxiety and uncertainty with preparation, and focus on the promise, purpose and plan for your life.
Purpose – A King is Chosen
I invite you to see the following events thorough your mind’s eye.
A teenage boy is out taking care of his father’s sheep. His family is poor; they are neither prominent or well known. He is the youngest of his father’s eight sons, and he is considered to be a nuisance and a busybody by his brothers. In spite of all this, he is chosen to be king of his country.
The elder who has the responsibility of overseeing the selection process for a new king, sees the boy’s eldest brother, who is handsome, tall and strong in appearance. “Surely he is the one”! The elder exclaims. But to his great surprise, he is wrong. After realizing that every one of the boy’s brothers have been rejected for this, the highest honor and office of the land, the elder asks the father, “are these all the sons you have?” “No I have another son – my youngest, but he is out taking care of the sheep.” “Send for him”, replied the elder. When the boy arrives, the elder pours oil on his head and anoints him. Through this act the boy’s purpose has become clear to him and all of those that are present. He is given a promise, a plan and the purpose, of one day becoming king of his country.
This teenage boy was from an unknown family, and he was thought very little of by his brothers. Nonetheless, his purpose was to become king. There is a lesson in this story. Do you see it?
Lesson # 1
It does not matter who you are, it does not matter where you are from, it does not matter your family background, it does not matter what other’s think of you, it does not matter what your circumstances are or the mistakes you made in your past, none of that has the power to prevent you from fulfilling your life’s purpose. None of that has the ability to change your destiny, just as long as you keep focused and keep your eye on the prize.
People are quick to judge us, but they do not know our destiny. They do not know our purpose; they do not know that we are destined for greatness. Man looks at physical appearances, stature, social standing and the like, but God, He looks at the heart. It is what is in your heart that matters, not what others think of you. There is a very cogent quote which says, “what other people think of you is none of your business.” When it comes to your promise, when it comes to your purpose and the plan for your life, the opinion of other’s does not matter.
A Lion and a Bear – Preparation for Purpose
Before he could live out his purpose of becoming king, the teenage boy faced many challenges. But whatever he did, he did it with excellence and he was very successful. He even received a promotion from the present king. The boy went from being a shepherd – taking care of his father’s sheep – to being a servant to the king, then a high ranking official in the army, then finally, becoming king.
There is one incident which took place before his promotion, which stands out.
The men of the army feared for their lives. They were being challenged by a soldier from an enemy army who appeared bigger and stronger than all of them. “I am making fun of your army, send one of your men, let him fight me”, the soldier taunted. The teenage boy stepped up, “I will fight him”, he said. “You can’t fight him; you are just a little boy, and he has been fighting since he was a young man”, the king replied. “I have been taking care of my father’s sheep for a long time. When the sheep was attacked by a lion and by a bear, I went after it. I killed the lion and I killed the bear, and I rescued the sheep. If I can kill a lion and a bear, I can fight this man”, the boy replied.
Taking care of his father’s sheep and being diligent about it, was preparing the boy for the transition that was about to take place in his life; being in the king’s service. Facing the challenging situations of fighting the lion and the bear, prepared him for the moment in which he had to fight this giant, that everyone else was afraid to fight. All of which was preparation for reaching his purpose – becoming king.
It took approximately 15 years after he was chosen, for him to actually attain the kingship. During those 15 years he faced many difficulties and he had many enemies. Even the king became jealous of his successes and attempted to kill him; so much so, that he had to go into hiding at one point. Though difficult, all of it was preparing him to live out his purpose.
You may be experiencing a period of difficulty at the moment; it may seem too big for you to handle, towering over you like a giant. Taunting you and threatening to destroy you. Threatening to crush your spirit. Remember this, we may be, “hard pressed on every side but not crushed; perplexed but not in despair, persecuted but not abandoned, struck down but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9). All is not lost, we have hope.
Rest assured that the struggles you are facing, are preparing you for something greater. They are preparing you for the transition which is to come. They are preparing you to fulfil your life’s promise, purpose and plan. Of course, this is not the only preparation that is needed. Based on the period of transitioning that you are facing or anticipating, and based on your life’s promise, purpose and plan, you know that there are other specific things you will likely have to do in preparation.
Along your journey there will also be those who will be jealous of you. There are those who will try to hurt you. Not everyone will celebrate with you, not everyone will support you or be happy for you; but pay them no mind. Keep focused on your promise, your plan and your purpose. You may be thinking that you are in a lowly position now, you are not important, nobody knows you. But remember that where you are now, is not your final destination. Your best is yet to come! Whatever the position you are in now, do your best. A wise man once said, “whatever your hands find to do, do it with all your might.” Produce your best, at all times. The position you are in now is preparing you for the transition that is to come. Do not be discouraged.
Wrapping it Up…
In case you have not guessed it by now, the boy in the story is King David of Israel. You can read the story yourself in 1 Samuel, chapters 16 -18. I know that I have mentioned time and time again that I love the Bible for its very practical life lessons. There is so much we can learn and apply to our lives in order to achieve optimum personal growth.
The source of David’s success, was not just that he kept focused on the promise and purpose for his life, but also that the Spirit of God was with him. How else could he have defeated a man, more than twice his size? How else could he have survived the many challenges he faced?
Important Points to Remember
- Your purpose is not dependent on what others think about you.
- Your circumstances nor your past, is a deterrent from reaching your purpose.
- As you move toward your purpose, not everyone will celebrate with you, some people will be jealous of you.
- Your struggles are preparing you for your purpose. “Success occurs when opportunity meets preparation.”
- Give your best at all times – in every situation and every circumstance.
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