Do you look forward to challenges? There are times in my life that I like the unexpected, that I revel in facing a challenge that allows me to stretch myself, analyze a solution, and conquer a problem. I remember back in my corporate career when I was in charge of trade shows. Each time I coordinated a show I learned to anticipate something going wrong, there would always be at least one issue, or potential disaster in the making that would require me to think on my feet and problem solve. Being hundreds, or even thousands of miles away from the office meant that I had to use only what I brought with me, and my problem solving skills to get through the hurdles that I faced. And solve them I did. In fact, it sort of became a game to me, where before I left for the show, I would try to guess just what problems I would face on the show floor. However, each time the problems were uniquely different, and always unexpected.
Now in no way do these kinds of unexpected events worry me. While they may be somewhat big to someone whose job it is to make sure that things come off without a hitch, they are nothing like facing a giant the stature of Goliath, when we are the size of the young David! I don’t think that I could ever equate that circumstance to the game-like challenges that I faced on the trade show floor during set-up.
And, although I would like to think that I could face a giant the approximate size of 9 feet, 9 inches (2.972 meters) with the confidence in the Lord that David had, I think perhaps I would be like the other Israelites and run away in fear. It’s just plain old human nature that leads us to fear when we face serious life-threatening circumstances. Is it lack of faith in God that causes us to quake in our shoes, right where we stand? Perhaps is it the fear of being physically or emotionally hurt? Or could it be that facing that particular giant of a problem doesn’t fit into the plan that we have for our lives? Maybe it’s all three.
Do we have confidence in the fact that if God brings us to a certain situation that He will see us through it towards His purpose? When we look to ourselves that giant will indeed conquer us. That point leads me to conclude that I am my own biggest obstacle, I get in the way of God’s work. However, when we look to and trust in God then we have assurances that, through us and sometimes in spite of us, He will be the conqueror. Consider Zechariah 4:6b “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts.” And also, Zephaniah 3:17 “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” Wow! By His Spirit He is with us and He will save us, and while He is doing that, He will quiet us. That’s why David was able to face Goliath with confidence.
So many times in my life when God takes over a situation that I face, the outcomes are always so much better than I could have ever anticipated. I know this. Countless times God has rescued me. And when I am in the midst of facing my most current giant, I need to remember and rely on that truth.
So, my prayer is this: Oh that God would give me the heart of David! I want God to be at the foremost center of my life, my very existence. I want to adore God and worship God just like David did. I want to face my giants with the faith of David and with the utmost confidence in God for His perfect resolution. If I can get to that point, I know that things would be so much easier for me. And I think the key is keeping my focus on God to meet every need, staying in the Word, and in constant communication with God through prayer. That’s my roadmap, and I pray that I do not venture off course.