June 25, 2015

How to Have Faith in Dark Times

Logically speaking, I should give up hope. I really should.  I am pressed down by so many overwhelming medical, domestic, and financial limitations.Yet, have I given up? No! I do not accept defeat. I haven’t up until now; why should I start?

I am living on faith, and on the knowledge that what I’m going through is making me stronger little by little. I need to walk through this dark valley for reasons mostly unknown to me right now.

Small, but amazing, improvements keep happening when I’ve given up all reasonable hope. They will continue to happen.

David and Goliath

I Samuel 17:1-51 recounts a story of triumph against common sense. The young Israeli shepherd boy, David, triumphs over the giant Philistine champion, Goliath. There are many lessons to be learned from this story of a victorious underdog. However, let’s look at it from a new perspective:

Lesson 1—If you can’t fight something in the chosen way, choose a different plan of attack…David didn’t have the armor, tools, or experience for the hand-to-hand combat Goliath expected. He elected to fight by his own method: a slingshot. Hey, it worked! Slingshots were actually considered a viable weapon of warfare in ancient and medieval times. Goliath just didn’t expect David to choose such a strategy.

Lesson 2—Go into any fight speaking victory, not defeat…In verses 45-47 of I Samuel 17, the small young teenager said he came to the fight in the name of the Lord, who would deliver Goliath to him. David affirmed that the battle was the Lord’s, and the Lord would strike his opponent down.

David not only speaks his own success, he acts as though he’s already won.  In verse 48, the shepherd boy runs to meet the arrogant champion soldier of the whole Philistine army. The young man doesn’t hang his head and shuffle his feet. He doesn’t cower for a few minutes. He doesn’t hide behind a seasoned soldier momentarily in order to gather courage. The underdog by a long shot runs toward his enemy.

David must conquer his Goliath in order to prepare him to be the first king over a united Israel. Does this happen overnight? No! He must wait twenty years in order to gain the crown. This brings us to the last lesson in the story:

Lesson 3—Belief alone isn’t enough. Everything needs to happen in God’s appointed time, place, and method…David couldn’t be king until he was fully prepared, which makes sense. He wasn’t ready to lead his nation as a shepherd boy. Goliath was just one of many trials on the way to his kingdom.

My Conclusion

We may not see the reason for whatever we’re going through right now. However, we can rest assured we’re being prepared for improvement. We can’t move on to a better life until we have the strength to live that new life.  If we aren’t willing to go through trials, we may find ourselves remaining as we are now: comfortable, but not progressing.

We grow only in the valleys, not on the mountaintops. From the tops of mountains, the only way to go is down.

What “valleys” have you come through?

No comments:

Post a Comment