2014 has been one of those years.
The optimist in me hates to write that sentence, because I know so many people who have had much
worse happen to them. I’ve never been superstitious, but I kind of want to use one hand to type and the other hand to knock on wood as I write it.
When I look at the battles I’ve fought this year, I recognize that they aren’t huge. They aren’t the same as the mother whose son is in the hospital fighting cancer. They aren’t the same as the little girl being abused. They aren’t the same as the man who just lost his job, or the wife who just found out her husband has cheated on her.
My battles aren’t even comparable.
But they are still battles, and while keeping a healthy perspective is good, we all need to take the time to think about what we’ve had to endure this year. Because those hardships define us, and even the small ones will likely shape our future.
My friend Amy spoke to me a couple months ago about battles, and ever since then, I haven’t been able to get it out of my head.
You see, Amy’s husband, Craig, is fighting cancer for a second time.
Awhile back, she told me that he was reading the book of Samuel in the Bible over and over again. Craig had told her that the story of David was speaking to him.
David: the man who would become the second most influential king of the Jews, whose very lineage would lead to Jesus.
David started off as an unknown child, powerless against the kings who ruled at the time, against the enemy army that constantly attacked his people. But when a giant mocked the opposing army and asked who would fight him, David felt God speak to his heart and knew he had to fight the battle before him. The men on his side tried to arm him with worldly things for protection, but David knew that he had to use his own particular gifts to defeat the enemy, and he knew that he had to glorify God in the process.
You could see how Craig could easily relate to the story.
Horrible cells inside of him continued to multiply even though he couldn’t see them. Chemotherapy and radiation didn’t work the first go-around. And here he was, a father of two kids not even in school yet, a firefighter hero who couldn’t stop microscopic cells.
What could make you feel more powerless than that?
Not much. But a weak child facing a massive army would be a contender.
And that weak child’s actions in the face of battle is something we can all learn from.
Every other boy David’s age must have been scared of the powerful army flanking the huge giant in front of them. But despite him likely sharing this fear, David found strength in the Lord. He knew the Lord chose him – him, over anyone else – to fight a giant, Goliath.
God didn’t cause the battle that was going on. He didn’t tell the giant to taunt the army.
And He doesn’t cause the evil that continues to plague us today.
But He equipped David with the tools he would need to defeat Goliath, and He equips us with the tools we need to defeat our battles, too.
He told David – so full of faults, a weak boy who grew into an imperfect man – to trust in Him, and He used his performance in battle to do amazing things.
Things like ruling a nation. Things like fulfilling prophecy. Things like creating a lineage for the only perfect man to ever walk this earth.
And all this happened to David because he chose to trust God through the battle and use the battle to bring glory and honor to the Lord.
What’s your battle? It doesn’t have be cancer, but we all have things that plague us.
Have you ever felt like David? A no one? Unworthy and weak?
The bad news is, we’ve all been David.
But here’s the good news to go with that bad news:
We’re all David.
We are all treasured. Deeply loved. Favored.
And we often feel like we couldn’t possibly fight the way God wants us to fight.
But, if we make the choice to honor God and do what He’s calling us to do, we will fight, and we will win.
Maybe we won’t win the battle like David did. But we certainly win the war. We glorify His name, introduce His love to others, and open their eyes to the Truth.
People have been doing this since the beginning of time, and they continue to do it today. It’s through those people – and the Bible – that I find the motivation to take on my own personal battles, and the inspiration to glorify and worship God through them.
Take, for instance, Tim Scott, the first African-American senator to be elected in the south since the Reconstruction. After his historic win this year, he tweeted:
My skin color is talked about often. Tonight I want to talk about it for just a moment. In South Carolina, in America, it takes a generation to go from having a grandfather who is picking cotton, to a grandson in Congress. We are thankful for those trailblazers who came before us and said the status quo was not enough.
I stand on the shoulders of giants.
That’s why we’re here, folks: to look our scary stuff in the eye and know that our God is calling us to be greater than we think we are.
He is calling us to stand on the shoulders of the giants, those who have conquered things that once loomed over them.
Whatever you’re committed to conquering this new year, whatever battles you want to fight and win against, fight with the assurance that you are God’s and no one else’s, because when you belong to Him, you can conquer any evil.
You can defeat any giant.
Source: Amanda Deich