Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Facing Goliath

The Lord who delivered
me from the paw
of the lion and
from the paw of the bear
will deliver me

from the hand
of this Philistine.

I Samuel 17:17

In the midst of challenging times it is usually almost impossible to see what possible good could come from the experience. When the darkness has settled it takes every ounce of energy to sometimes just wake up in the morning. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a loss of employment, relationship conflicts, illness or whatever may be troubling, it all feels like being paw swiped by a "lion."

It isn’t until we see the light of day that we start flexing our “muscles” and discover that we’ve made it to the other side. We’re grateful that the trauma is over and hope to live in the light for a long, long time. Then one day we feel the swipe of a "bear." It’s then that we discover that our “muscles” are stronger this time around.

David was confident when he talked with Saul about how he would handle Goliath. As a shepherd it had been necessary to fend off some vicious attacks. Consequently, he was in excellent shape. But he never forgot who granted him life after each encounter.

Building up spiritual strength requires some serious work outs. Every difficulty, every tough encounter, every conflict builds up the necessary muscle for the possibility of facing a Goliath. Not everyone will necessarily face a Goliath, nevertheless, when the “lions” and “bears” attack they are what will strengthen us for the possibility. And, our assurance can be like David--the Lord who grants you life from these swipes will also be there for any Goliath.

God, it’s difficult to see that “bear” and “lion”
attacks can be part of what strengthens me.
Because of you I can face any Goliath.

Artwork--David and Goliath. Titian. Santa Maria della Salute, Venice, Italy

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