Tonight, I’m thinking about Goliath.
A few Sundays ago, the preschoolers in our children’s ministry talked about David and Goliath, and the night before–as my brain already jumped to the next day’s work–I was asking, “What should I tell my volunteers about this story? What haven’t they heard before?”
The tale of David & Goliath is one of those Bible stories we’ve all heard a million times. It’s alluded to often: David, the quintessential underdog who slays–literally–the behemoth Goliath. Small, preteen, shepherd David. Nine foot, military man, Goliath. The Royals and the Yankees. The upstart and the incumbent. David and Goliath.
One of the great joys of my job is helping my volunteers understand how the Bible story–which they will share with their kiddos in the simplest terms–applies to their own lives. Instead of asking, “What are we going to teach our kids?” I ask, “What does God want to say to me?” I’ve learned so much about what God’s up to in my own heart by engaging in this process every week. Scripture comes alive for me this way.
So, what is God saying to me through David and Goliath?
Personally, David and Goliath is a Bible story much like Noah’s ark and Jesus’ feeding of 5,000: it’s hard to actually wrap my mind around, to logically work out the details, to consider its implications for the people who experienced it. Meanwhile, we’ve packaged it as a nice children’s story for so long, it’s hard to consider with fresh eyes. That’s what I found myself thinking in front of the bathroom mirror last Saturday as I wiped away my mascara & brushed my teeth.
Am I facing any “Goliaths” right now?
We’re healthy and our jobs our stable and our family’s fine. No storms to calm or fire to put out.
I am not staring up at a giant right now. No, instead, I’ve just got the mundane and small and uneventful: another pile of laundry, another email to send, another meal to plan, another drive to work.
Still, I find myself wondering if my stone will fly far enough.
God helps me do the extraordinary, but mostly what’s in front of me seems perfectly ordinary. I’m just the small shepherd boy, delivering lunch to my brothers, and I’m not always sure I’m doing even that well.
Still, I want to look at my smallness with fresh eyes, to see the gospel behind, before, and all around me. I want to abide with Christ, the tendrils of the vine wrapped around each moment, knowing that when I do so, each of these small tasks is gradually shaping me to look more like Jesus.
My ambition and pride gets in the way of all this, leaving me constantly looking for a bigger and better thing. I love David because he didn’t arrive at the battlefield posturing for some position, accolade, responsibility. He just delivered lunch.
God uses the unqualified and the overlooked, the lowly shepherd boy whose sole responsibility is delivering a meal to those seemingly doing the real work and fighting the real battles. Smack dab in the middle of our small acts of faithfulness, He hands off the job He’s been prepping us for all along.