He chose David his servant and took him from the sheep pens; from tending the sheep he brought him to be the shepherd of his people Jacob, of Israel his inheritance. Psalm 78:70-71
God normally ignites our hearts in ordinary ways. I believe a burning passion is kindled in the midst of the normal everyday "sheep pens" of life--carpooling kids to practice, making house payments, contemplating career changes, doing relationships, building a marriage, working through conflict and paying for car repairs. It's from the "sheep pens" that God calls us to higher levels of meaning and significance. That's what happened to King David.
God called David to the palace from the pens. It was in David's lonely, thankless, smelly shepherding work that God ignited the future leader's heart. David learned the art of shepherding sheep and then transferred the principles to leading men in battle. David's heart of integrity that developed when no one was looking became the same heart of integrity that led a nation to greatness. The skill in nurturing, protecting, and caring for sheep became the skill in leading a people to worship God. But remember, God developed David in the pens.
Maybe you feel like you are living and working in the "sheep pens." It stinks. It's not particularly pleasant. It's not where you want to be or thought you would be. You feel alone and maybe even abandoned. Let me remind you that God is not wasting your time. Today He is preparing you for tomorrow. Remember that He does His best work in the sheep pens.
Father, give me patience in the pens. Help me learn all that You need me to learn so I can be the servant You desire me to be. In Jesus' name. Amen.