To Defeat a Giant

David picked up the small, smooth pebble off the cave ledge beside him.  The air surrounding him was damp and cool.  Light was eerily absent.  Hidden in the depths of the mountain as they were, it was impossible to know if, at that moment, the sun was baking the desert hillside that surrounded their hiding place.  Or perhaps the cool rays of the moon were bringing welcome relief to the sun scorched land.

David rubbed the pebble between his thumb and fingers.  It felt smaller than that day when he had picked it up out of the stream bed.  David smiled in the darkness.  What a day that had been!

One giant.  One pebble.  One faith.  One God.

And the giant had fallen down…

Dead.

David placed the rock in his pocket and lay down on the cave floor.  After months of hiding in the desert wilderness, he had become accustomed to beds made of rock.  He closed his eyes to get a few hours of sleep before it was his turn to go on guard duty.  With King Saul’s spies scouring the countryside for any clues of his whereabouts, David and his men had to stay on constant watch.

As he lay there, David’s thoughts returned to that day of…

One giant.  One pebble.  One faith.  One God.

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Our strength is not in ourselves.  Our strength comes from from Him who merely spoke and the lakes, rivers, trees and mountains appeared and from Him who, in laying down His life, conquered sin and death.  In Him, weakness is an asset, not a hindrance, for His strength is made perfect in our weakness.  Only in Him and because of Him, we can say..”When I am weak, then am I strong.”  (2. Corinthians 12:9, 10)

Since that day, his life had been turned upside down and inside out.  He had gone from being a shepherd of sheep to a soldier who led the king’s army to great victories in many battles.  When King Saul had become jealous of David’s success, traps had been set to kill him.  Some were outright attacks and others were elusive traps meant to destroy him.  Finally, David had fled for his life.

David turned onto his side, resting his head on his arm.  He had been on the run for more days than he could count.  Other men had joined him…men who were in distress, in debt or discontented with the way things were in the country.  He now found himself the commander of about 400 men.

It wasn’t easy.  Since that day of Goliath’s defeat, he had faced other giants – some visible and some invisible.  Saul’s continuous attempts on his life and trying to find enough resources and places to hide for 400 men and their families were two daily visible giants.  The giants of fear, discouragement, worry, anger and doubt were the invisible goliaths.  Yet, with each one, he tried to remember what he had learned that day in the battle against Goliath…

One giant.  One pebble.  One faith.  One God.

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To run with endurance – even when facing giants – the race marked out before us takes a firm gaze on God Almighty, a steadfast mind anchored in the truth of who He is, a willing heart that believes His promises, and confident feet that walk in obedience on the path to which He has directed our steps. 

That was the key to defeating the giants he faced.  He had to remember that God was God Almighty.  The giants he had faced and would continue to face were real, big and strong, but they could not beat him when he chose to put his faith in God and use the resources God provided.  That day when he faced Goliath he didn’t have a sword, spear or javelin.  He didn’t even have armor.

But his faith had been firmly anchored in God, and that was enough.

One giant.  One pebble.  One faith.  One God.

As these thoughts filled his mind, David felt the heaviness of sleep intrude on the corners of his mind.  Slowly he drifted off to sleep.

“David!  David!”

Feeling a hand urgently shaking his shoulder, David quickly sat up, his mind instantly awake.

“What is it?” he asked.

“It’s Saul and his army.  They are spread out on the hillsides looking for us.  Someone must have betrayed our whereabouts to him.”

David stood up and tried to release the kink in his neck.  “How many men does he have this time?”

“The scouts have reported back that they think it’s an army of 3,000.”

David shook his head.  Saul was serious about hunting him down.  3000 men versus 400.  This wouldn’t be easy.  “Get the leaders together.  We will meet in 20 minutes.  We will need to come up with a plan.”

As the soldier left, David put his hand into his pocket and found the pebble and remembered…

One giant.  One pebble.  One faith.  One God.

“Lord God Almighty.  Here is another giant…3000 in number, and close on its heels is following the giant of fear.  He’s lurking in the shadows just waiting for an opportunity to strike fear into my heart, and the hearts of my men, just as Goliath did that day so long ago.  Lord God Almighty, I ask that just as you have helped us in the past, please help us now.  We look to you and choose to stand and trust in You and You alone.  Our faith is not in our resources or our strength or our wisdom.  Our faith is in You.  You are always with us.  You will never leave us nor forsake us.  Please give us Your wisdom to know what to do.  Please direct our steps.  Please provide what we need.  Amen.”

David stood up.  The giant of fear was down.  Now it was time to face the next one, remembering…

One giant.  One pebble.  One faith.  One God.

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In Him, I can confidently and boldly move forward when I face giants.