A little girl in a striped T-shirt splashed along the stream running down the middle of the street. My daughter Megan was 3 at the time and was bold and fierce, waving a stick like her personal magic wand. We lived near a dead end street and after a summer thunderstorm I took the kids there to play in the running water. It was still sprinkling, the air was muggy and laden with the smell of wet grass and dirt.
The Power to Stop Cars!
Megan saw a car passing on the street that bisected our dead end and she yelled, “Stop car!” Her little legs braced and her hands thrust up with all the boldness and bravery she could muster. My older kids and I laughed at her exuberance. The sprinkles dimpled the running water as I mused on the courage of my tiny daughter. I think she really believed she had the power to stop the cars!
My little girl displayed her courage with the delightful confidence of a child unencumbered by the temerity of an adult who has been ambushed by the demands of life. I remember that summer day and how encouraged I was by her fearless spirit. She reminded me not just of a superhero with the power to stop cars, but also of my own joy and strength in the Lord.
The joy of the Lord is my strength. -Nehemiah 8:10
My prayer for her was that one day her courage and joy would come from Him.
A small boy and his slingshot bring down the giant
Remember the story of David and Goliath? After 40 days of taunting from the Philistine army, the army of Saul cowered in fear before Goliath. He was tall and mean, and ready to slaughter his enemy. David, the young shepherd boy, came along with his slingshot and fearless spirit and brought the giant down. His rock whizzed accurately to the middle of Goliath’s forehead with enough force to slay him. How did David have the confidence at such a young age to face a giant and overcome him? He believed in the living God and had faith that God would help him.
David said to the Philistine,
You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel…. and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.
1 Samuel 17:45-47
Megan was 3-years-old on that stormy July day in 1993 when she stomped in the running water, confidently held up her arms, and commanded the cars to stop. My prayer for her when she was a wee girl was for her to face her challenges knowing that God was on her side and that God would give her strength. Now she’s 28 and has a child of her own. My prayers were answered as she now has joy and strength in the Lord as a Christ follower.
I remind her of that day back when she was 3 when even the cars obeyed her. Or so she thought. Her Goliath today is not a car coming too close. It’s the challenges of being a stay at home mom in the most expensive city in the United States.
What is Your Goliath?
Mine is the giant of a relationship issue and the discouragement that comes with it. It can loom over me and make my puny slingshot loaded with despair ricochet pellets of hopelessness instead of rock-solid faith. My God promises courage. My God promises strength. My God promises peace that surpasses all comprehension. So… Do I believe that God can come through? Or not?
Your Goliath might be completely different. What is your giant that threatens to steal your peace? I know some other giants in my life have been discouragement and doubt. There have been times when I get discouraged and become depressed over circumstances that never seem to change.
I am challenged to recognize that those defeatist attitudes are really doubting God, believing the lie that my life can never change, that He doesn’t care about me, can’t redeem my mess. That my relationship can never change, or I’ll never get that job I’ve wanted for years, or I doubt myself when I start a new project. I doubt my courage, my abilities, and feel stuck. I question the power of God in my life to work good from the bad, especially if the bad seems to last forever.
The All Powerful, All Loving God is With Us in the Good and the Bad
Megan is learning. She is walking in faith as much as she can as she cares for her new little family. God allows the good and the bad and trains us to know He is good. All the time. She’s young and will face her own Goliaths as she navigates life. But she is not alone. Her God, my God, the all-powerful, all-loving God of the universe is with her. With me. With you.
The next time you feel your own Goliath, or even a whole basketball team of tall and fearsome giants with the power to slam dunk your faith, remember. Remember the times you could see God’s hand. Ask Him to increase your faith when you don’t see His hand now. If those nasty 3 D’s return in my life; discouragement, doubt, depression, I think of my small girl making those cars stop, not with her fairy wand of a stick, but with courage, spunk, and pure joy. I already have victory in Christ! So do you! God can help you tame your negative thoughts, recognize them as lies and replace them with hope, faith, and the joy that comes with trusting His plan. If you’re not already His child, ask for the faith to believe. Your giants will lose their power over you. Goliath, be gone!