“Now what have I done?” said David. “Can’t I even speak?” “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” 1 Samuel 17:29, 37 NIV
Passage Reading – 1 Samuel 17:26-37
Have you ever been to a Little League baseball game? What about a Pee Wee football game? Don’t you just love them?! I have three sons. I remember going through what seemed endless weeks of practices and then two games a piece during the week and one game each on the weekends. Oh, those were the days. Our youngest is six years old so we know that this lull will pass.
My favorite part of the games was watching the smallest player on the team. He was the most determined, the most dedicated player because, you see, everyone knew his size, but he knew his determination. He knew the power that he possessed in that miniature frame. Others might tell him he couldn’t make that tackle, or hit a homerun, but his daddy had said that he was the mighty mite; the “David” on a “Goliath” field.
Has anyone ever told you that you did not measure up? Have you ever been made to feel less than adequate? Have you ever faced a giant situation that seemed insurmountable? No doubt these are the thoughts that ran rapid through the minds of David’s brothers when he stepped up to fight Goliath. “You’re just a kid! Go back home and take care of the flock!”
David knew the power that he possessed in Jesus. He knew that on his own and in his own power, this situation could not turn out favorably for him. But David did not rest in his own strength. He relied on the authoritative power of God; and so should we.
When others scoffed at him for taking a stand, David did not let that deter him; neither should we. When David’s shortcomings were pointed out to him he did not let that discourage him; neither should we. When a giant was in David’s path, he did not abandon and run; neither should we.
Our God is so good. He is so able. Our God is so prevailing and He is always on the side of good. Paul wrote in Romans 8:31, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” Isaiah reminds us in Isaiah 54:17 that “no weapon formed against us shall prosper.” These are the promises of our God to us. When we are facing battles and giants in our life, isn’t it good to know who is on our side?!
I want to encourage you to stand up to whatever may be coming at you in your life. Perhaps you are facing a nine foot giant of your own and cannot even find a slingshot! Take heart, my dear friend and claim Philippians 4:13 for yourself, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.”
“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 6:13 NKJV
Passage Reading: Romans 8:12-30
A lady who had a very important interview entered her car and bowed her head. “Lord, you know how important this job is to me. I am asking for Your intervention. Please allow me to get to this office safely and preferably early. Please direct my paths and my words so that I do not shame myself or You. Thank You, Father, that You will get me to this interview, that You will be with me during this interview, and that You will bring me home safely. Amen” After about thirty minutes, the lady looked up to Heaven and in a rather agitated tone complained, “Now Lord, I have put all of my trust in You and it really appears that we are not going to make my interview. Please help me arrive at least on time.” That evening at the dinner table, the lady’s husband asked how the interview had gone. “Well, I prayed all morning asking the Lord to help me with my interview. I prayed that He would get me there safely and at least on time. I prayed that He would give me the right words, and I prayed that He would get me home safely. And do you know that I never even made it out of the driveway?! I guess the Lord did not want me to have that job.” “Honey, did you misplace your keys?” “My keys? No, they are still lying on the dresser.”
Thankfully, this story is fictional, yet it rings true for far too many. As ridiculous as this particular scenario sounds, many of us repeat this same behavior. We expect God to deliver things right into our laps without our exerting any effort at all. We may love the Lord with all of our hearts and trust Him absolutely, but God does not expect or desire for us to use that as an excuse.
I do not want to confuse anyone here. I absolutely believe that God is capable of miracles of any magnitude at any time in our lives. I am not referring to the impossible as God does His best work in these instances! Just as God wants to work miracles in the lives of His children, He also wants us to use the tools with which He has equipped us. We are in a partnership with our Lord. Just as a student who has chosen not to study for a semester exam will sweat puddles while praying for the correct answers, many of us set our Bibles, devotionals, or prayer times aside and then face the tests of life without being prepared. We expect complete rescue and then blame God when we fail to receive it.
Our Scripture reference this week shows us how to prepare ourselves for the tests and trials that we will surely face. God is on our side but we are a TEAM. He is more than willing to do more than His part but we have to take responsibility too. After all, cars will take us nowhere without inserting the key into the ignition.
This week I want to challenge you to draw closer to God by delving into and studying His Word. And when a trial comes your way lift your head toward Heaven and call out, “Keys, please!”
“Sing, O heavens! Be joyful, O earth! And break out in singing, O mountains! For the LORD has comforted His people, and will have mercy on His afflicted.”
Isaiah 49:13 (NKJV)
Passage Reading: John 9:1-41
I have a dear friend that is the mother of 2 boys. My brother is also the proud father of TWO sets of twins! I could not help but think of them this week as I read these Scripture and Passage Sections. You see, my friend is the mom of a vivacious and energetic autistic pre-teen. My brother – the father of a little girl with cystic fibrosis.
In these passages, we see Christ’s disciples are curious to discover the reason behind a young man’s blindness. Like us, they ask God, “Why? Who did what to cause this person’s affliction? Was this by some fault of his own? Did his parents do something to cause him to be this way?”
So many times we want to question why? Better still, we want something or someone to blame. Why is it that we never take into consideration that this person, who is different from the rest of us, could be the tool that Christ, through His mercy, is using to reach the very onlookers? In this particular case, God was using the blind man to teach others to see.
In our lesson, we also get just a glimpse at this young man’s parents. Although we are not told much about them or their lifestyle, we do see that this infirmity is one that they nurtured their child through from birth. We can assume that they are still very much a part of his life. Although life certainly could not have been easy for them, we can deduce that a loving home environment was fostered by them. There is even a mention of their neighbors. We could presume that others from time to time would assist in this nurturing process. Through their mercy, these served as sources of support and encouragement to this young man’s parents.
I cannot say that I know firsthand what life is like for a parent who has been chosen to rear a child with a disability. I can only imagine, from the long discussions that I have had with the ones I love, many times it feels as if you are all alone in an unyielding battle.
I know that there are many moms in our area that deal with these same trials on a daily basis. My hope is that you will find solace and strength this week as you read God’s provision of hope for you in His Word. If you are not blessed to have a child or other relative in your family that allows you to see the awesome power of Christ through autism, cystic fibrosis, or other disorder, I encourage you to find direction and compassion through these same passages. If you would like to learn more about autism or cystic fibrosis, please visit www.autismspeaks.org or www.cff.org.
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