As we left church on Sunday, Douglas and I knew that we would not be back at church until October 28, as we are leaving for Spain on Saturday. So, I was quite surprised when the associate pastor advised me that she was looking forward to my sermon for First Wednesday, a regular weekly feature of our church.
I never anticipated that I would need to pull together a sermon in three days, as we are packing and shopping and getting hair done and all of the things that you must get done before traveling and being away from home for weeks. I braced for a hectic week.
Interestingly enough, I have been rereading the story of David and Goliath, absolutely fascinated with the abundance of David’s courage in confronting and slaying the giant in his life. I cannot count the numbers of times that I have heard the story preached, so I wondered if I had anything new to add to our spiritual knowledge and, like a lamppost on a dark street, bring light into someone ‘s life.
One aspect of the story that I had never noticed was that David ran toward Goliath, rather than away from him. Too often, when we face giants in our lives, we tend to vacillate in regards to getting help for them, either ignoring them or pretending that they don’t exist. It seems like we hope that they will go away or the situation will change without our having to do anything.
But, unfortunately, giants seem to grow in size when left to dominate our thoughts day and night. For 40 days, Goliath menaced Saul and his men, and not once did they remember the power of God that had given them victories in Ammon, Moab, and the Amalekites. Instead, they allowed their fear of the size of their giant to intimidate them, and they did nothing to resolve the issue.
Then David comes to do his father’s bidding, bringing food for his brothers and their colleagues in battle and learning of their welfare to share with his father. But this young shepherd boy, only a teenager and never a lazy person, heard Goliath defying the God he loved and had trusted since he was a small boy, and he just could not stand by and let it continue.
Someone had to step up to the plate and resolve the stalemate. David volunteered, never even considering the size of the giant in his life or that he had no military training. He just knew that giants do not go away if no one ever takes the first needed step. So, he ran toward the problem, rather than away from it, using the resources God gave him.
We all face giants in our lives, situations that seem insurmountable. My giant may be very different from your giant, but all giants have the capacity to cause us great pain and suffering, particularly the longer we let them dominate our lives. The more we come to think that they are stronger than us and are invincible to the point where they must just be endured, the less we seem willing to run toward them to defeat them.
But, I believe that for people who have fellowship with God, faith in God, and who keep their focus on God’s power rather than on the size of their giants, no problem is so great that it cannot be solved. It is a matter of remembering, like David, how God has already brought victory in our lives, increasing our faith in Him, and reminding us that with God, nothing is impossible.
I believe that God will provide the “stones” needed to defeat our giants, such as the stone of the right doctor, the stone of marital counseling, the stone of courage, the stone of patience, and the stone of prayer, among others. It is my hope that the giants in your life are less cocky than Goliath, but no less able to be defeated.
I have attached the sermon, I hope, for anyone who might want to listen to it.