Sharpening in Private
Updated: Sep 8, 2019
What you're practicing, learning, or sharpening in private will be the very thing that God uses to elevate you in public, but it's got to be from God. I didn't have to look too far to find truth in those words because as I look over my shoulder I can see the many things God has done for me through the little things I've learnt in private from Him. One such example is the ability to find creative solutions to fix things others find difficult. Such skills have allowed me have dialogue with people on some of the most intimate aspects of life with the goal of learning and encouraging people out of some of the challenges that we face as humans. This didn't come from nowhere, it came to fruition on the back end of a lot of failure, hurt, discouragement, and negativity.
Now what has this got to do with you? Well here's the thing, there are things that you have been doing in silence that no one gives you credit for, possibly on the back end of some hurt in your life. It's difficult to deal with especially if you're like me in that you are fueled by affirmation from people. You know what I mean, the words "thank you" and "I really like what you're doing" fan the embers of emotional sustenance into a fire for more. The problem though is that whether you get it or not the feeling is temporary. The flame dies quicker than it begins either way. It becomes harder when the response you get is negative. Allow me to say this, God sees you even when others don't. God appreciates you even if others don't, because if He didn't you wouldn't be here. The things that you have been doing that seem minuscule are the very things that will transform lives. It's in understanding that, that you experience a freedom that you can't find anywhere else. Living by peoples affirmations will rob you of the joys of fulfilling your assignments from God.
Think about David in the Bible. That guy killed a bear and a lion in private. As big a near death experience that was, he had to have gone through some mini training that his other siblings may not have known. Dude probably came home from shepherding, bruised from tussling with a behemoth, that is a lion or bear. Mom asks "Dave, how was your day?" he responds "not much mom just the usual, handling dad's sheep." Mom would ask "What's that on your arm, did you get cut by something?" He would say "it's nothing mom." David kept it all quiet and continued to do his duty, practicing, learning, sharpening, believing that maybe one day it may mean something, and if not, continue to protect his assignment. Even when no one saw what his days looked like, as he sat in the fields with his sheep and made little tools to use at work. No one knew that he would have near death experiences with bears and lions at the expense of saving sheep.
The words "saving sheep" get me thinking about something the Bible speaks on in relation to God and us. God waists no time in chasing after you and me if we get lost too. That may be why God called David "a man after His own heart," Acts 13-22. Dude diligently looked after his father's sheep no matter the circumstance in the same way God looks after us.
The sharpening became relevant when his (David's) nation was at war and came face-to-face with Goliath. It was at the moment that everything he had been working on came together. We know he saved a nation by the hand of God and a faith in God that only God could give him and that God gave him while he was shepherding alone, and killing lions and bears in private. What bear or lion are you killing in private? What is it that you are doing that no one sees that's in obedience to God? Keep going because you are in training. The time is coming, your time is coming when it will make sense. Keep Practicing, Keep Learning, Keep Sharpening, you've got a nation to save.
Inspired by 1 Samuel 17