Being a misfit isn't necessarily a bad thing. Being shunned by the world can actually be a blessing in disguise. It provides one with the time and the elbow room to grow.
Being banished to tend the sheep can be a great teacher of self-reliance, of how to think on your feet and lead others in a way that compels them to willingly follow. The solitude of a shepherd can offer one the freedom to practice an instrument, compose words and music, and learn the effective harmony of placing a smooth stone into a leather sling.
If David had been accepted as part of the family, he would have been pampered as a favored child instead of tempered by his battles with the animal predators in his pastures. Only by living as an outsider did he learn to depend on himself and the still, small voice of god within. Throughout his year among the sheep, that voice was his only genuine companion, his guide to greatness.
And it was that same voice that whispered to Samuel each time he lifted his horn of oil to anoint, another of Jesse's sons king, "No, not this one."
By the time the prophet reached the seventh son, the room was tense, an emotional mix of anticipation, disappointment, and true bewilderment. No matter how high or how forcefully Samuel gripped his horn of oil, none of the contents escaped, not even a trickle. The prophet knew that he had been sent to Jesse's house to anoint the next king. Of this he was certain. But having vetted all the available candidates kneeling before him, none stood out of the crowd.
"The Lord has not chosen these," the prophet finally announced, turning to Jesse, "Are these all the sons you have?"
Jesse paused. Recalling his lifelong dream of an unquestioned ancestry, his hope of a legitimate son who would make everything right, and the deceptive switch that seemingly turned his plans to dust, the old man sighed. With a hint of embarrassment he pointed off toward the fields and mumbled, "There is the youngest. He is tending the sheep."
Samuel's face brightened, "Send for him. We will not sit down until he arrives."
When young David eventually walked into the large gathering, he was met by angry stares. But in the eyes of the only one whose opinion mattered, the boy was viewed differently. Recalling this pivotal moment, the Scriptures record that the boy was "glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the Lord said, 'Rise and anoint him; this is the one'" (1 Sam. 16:12, NIV).
To everyone's surprise, the oil spilled out of the horn like a waterfall, cascading over the boy's head, through his hair, and onto his shoulders. And as the thick, rich liquid dried, I imagine it flickered gold in the candlelight forming a kind of crown on the shepherd's head. "And from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David" (1 Sam. 16:13, NIV).
Being a misfit isn't necessarily a bad thing. Being "discarded" can actually be the catalyst that reshapes the unwanted into the very one chosen to reshape the world. It can turn an outside like John the Baptist into "the greatest among those born of women" and transform a family reject, put out to pasture, into a shepherd king chosen to lead the twelve united flocks of his own tribe.
If the wilderness John experienced is familiar to you, if you can relate to the years of rejection David endured, then you're not alone in feeling alone. Everyone who has ever accomplished anything has suffered through the growing pains of anonymity.
Both John and David used their "alone time," their separation from the world, to develop not only their uniquely personal gifts but to also strengthen their connections to the One who gave them both their design and their purpose. Each in his own way used his solitary days as a kind of "prayer closet." And though neither understood his future fully, what they did in their obscurity prepared them for their public roles.
Whether your alone time is in your private prayer closet or in the pasture you've been banished to, it is this personal private time with the Creator that will prepare you for your eventual premiere.
So make time for God. He literally created time for you. At the moment no one may know your name or how amazing you are with your slingshot, but by no means are you the forgotten begotten. The Creator knew you before your birth. In fact, like David, God made sure you were born because your brand of greatness was tailored for the here and now.
Yes, there is a plan designed just for you. You are indeed called. But it's up to you to accept your assignment to go through the obscurity that leads to maturity. If you will simply choose to be chosen you won't be a misfit for long, because nothing fits like the crown made for you.
Adapted from When Misfits Become Kings by Mark Casto, copyright 2015, published by Charisma House. At some point every person has felt disconnected, unqualified, and alone. In this book, you will learn how to discard the misfit pieces and find your identity and purpose in God's presence. Click here to order your copy.
Prayer Power for the Week of June 8, 2015
This week embrace the season you are in and take some time to enjoy God's presence in your life. Thank Him for the plan He has for you and that He is working all things out for your good. Choose to spend time in worship and meditate on His promises. Then ask for opportunities to carry His presence and help those suffering from lack, loss and hope. Continue to pray for revival, our nation's leaders and Israel (Psalm 35:27-28; Rom 8:28-39).
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