One smooth, round stone

It’s such a well known story: David vs. Goliath. But do you remember the details? How David was sent there? It was a simple errand assigned to him by his father to deliver some food to his brothers and their captain and return home with news. Once he arrived, David dropped off the food with the supply keeper and went to see what was going on in the battle. He ran to the army and found his brothers and greeted them. While he was there, he heard Goliath, the champion of the Philistines, cry out, “Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.” Then the Philistine said, “This day I defy the ranks of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.” After Goliath issued his challenge, David watched all the Israelites flee in fear. Then, David approached the Israelites and asked, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of living God?” His older brother, Eliab, heard him speaking and became angry with David. Eliab confronted David and asked him what he was doing there anyway and why wasn’t he out with the sheep in the desert. David replied, “What have I done? Can’t I even speak?” And then David continues to ask his questions again about Goliath and what will be done for the man who removes him. Eventually, word gets to King Saul and he calls for David. When David shows up, Saul is surprised that he is just a boy and tells David he is too young to fight Goliath and Goliath has been a warrior from youth. David replied with his personal testimony of how God delivered him from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear and how he KNEW God would deliver him from the hand of ‘this Philistine’. After hearing this, Saul simply says to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.” Then he tries to outfit David with all of his own fighting gear and weapons. But none of it fits, because Saul is a man and David is a youth. David told Saul he couldn’t wear all the gear because he wasn’t used to them, and, instead, goes out to a stream and selects five smooth stones before heading back to the battlefield to confront Goliath. Once David arrives, Goliath immediately begins to taunt David and the Israelites. Then David delivers this speech: “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off you head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s and he will give all of you into our hands.” And then with one smooth stone and a sling, David defeated Goliath. (1 Sam 17:1-58 NIV, my summary)

That’s all it took for David to take out Goliath. He had chosen five stones, but, when the time came, he only needed one. This is the story I remember when my days come at me like giants. This is the story I remember when I feel I can’t move forward in a task or a job. I take my stone and I throw it at the lies in my head: you’re not good enough, you’ll never be able to get this done, you aren’t a teacher, you’re not a good mom, you’re not a good wife. I remember God has appointed me to the task of wife and mother and I move forward in obedience knowing I need to focus on God’s greatness and not my inadequacies. He is more than enough, so I don’t have to be.

What I also love about this story is how David reacts when Saul calls him a boy and tells him Goliath has been a soldier from youth. Undeterred David responds with his personal testimony of God saving his life multiple times. He knew he could conquer Goliath, because it was not him conquering Goliath…BUT GOD. And there we have it. But God! How many times in our own lives can we look back and see where God redeemed what seemed like a lost situation and as we retell our testimonies, we simply utter….”But God”. Our life story is a series of testimonies of God’s work in our life that each incrementally increase our faith and give us strength in our times of trouble.

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