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Article on bullying  Summer issue 2012

 From summer's edition:

Are you Kid Courageous?

-Shannon Gilmour 2012

Young David was a Shepherd before he was king. He tended to his father’s sheep as he was too young to fight in heroic conquests against God enemies. His brother’s were old enough but David was not. It must have seemed unfair, as sheep herding may have been considered a boring and thankless job.

Tending to sheep was anything but boring. There was always something to do. When the shepherd sat to rest, he had earned that rest. His day was filled with roaming and walking fields so that the sheep could graze and eat their fill in safety. Most often the sheep were kept on land that was fenced. Our ancient biblical ancestors did not have barbed or electric wire to keep the animals safe. They used rocks.

The shepherd had to build the rock fence; one rock at a time. He had to first collect the rocks by hand, loading and unloading each rock from a cart. When he was ready to build the fence, he would have to separate the heavy rocks from the light and stack each rock on top of each another until the fence was high enough that the sheep could not jump over.

After the fencing was complete, the shepard had to walk the perimeter and check to make sure the fence remained in tact. This was done a few times during the day. With constant rounds, David could make sure that nothing got in or out.

David guarded those sheep with his life. It was his duty. The sheep were essential in Godly sacrifice, and were an essential food source in observing the Passover meal. David had a high demanding job that required a lot of his time and careful attention.

To David it may have seemed like he got the short end of the stick. He may have even felt ready to fight along side his family. Regardless of what he thought, David’s position as a shepherd was held in high regard. His father placed him in a demanding position because he knew David was trust worthy. For David to realize this, it took a situation to draw out David’s courage to show just how trust worthy he really was, not just once but a few times.

 

"When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it."
1 Samuel 17: 34-35

David could never have known the faith and courage he needed to slay Goliath, had he not had the experience to know ahead of time. The situations David was placed in, were times where no one was around to help him. He had to rely on his faith to know that he was loved by God and knew that God would help him.

While we should not put ourselves in dangerous situations, we can learn from David that we will be put in situations that we might want to run away from. To be successful at anything, we have lean into our courage, and take a stand.

David’s faith in God did not come from out of the blue. He was raised in a loving and nurturing household that talked and shared in the word of God every single day. This was the Hebrew way. His mom and dad would share stories, and help him to pray. Every member of the house of a would be king David openly loved God and were never too busy to share it.

"These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. " Deuteronomy 6:7

When David was alone with the sheep, he was alone with his thoughts, and alone with God. The upbringing within his household helped him to become mindful of God all the time. Wherever he went, he took the love of God with him. It was this kind of love that built the faith that David needed to lean on in times of trouble. This love helped David to become confident and know that he was God’s child.

When it was time to face Goliath, David knew where he stood because he already had the experience of having his faith strengthened through similar situations. He may not have had muscles like his brothers, or armor like his father, but from one situation David’s courage grew. It became so large that he through his faith became larger than the lion, the bear even the towering giant.

What situations have you been in that call for you to stand and be courageous?

(Brain storm with your parents and friends to come up with some ideas. Remember, sometimes being courageous can mean standing up for what you believe in, helping someone through an illness, helping someone when no one else would, or through finding ways to stay true to who you are as God’s child through troubling situations.)

Do you have a Kid Courageous story to share? Send it in and it could be published in the next issue! God Bless!