Thursday, 13 July 2017

The Making of a Champion

I was able to listen to a sermon in the car the other night and it was perfect timing.  It was on David and Goliath, by David Jeremiah.  It must be hard to preach on such a well-known story, to try and give new insights, but he did such a good job.  He titled it, "When Two Giants Meet".    Everyone thinks Goliath was the giant, but David was a giant, too.  Everyone thinks David was only a champion after he took down the giant, but he was a giant way before that.  That was what I found so encouraging.

He looked back at David's life and wondered, "How is this possible that this young man became a champion?  What was he doing in his life before this to make him like that?"  The answer was so great.  He was faithful in the small things before God put him before the giant.  He had to watch sheep.  Every day.  When his brothers were off to war, he had to stay home.  When everyone else was doing something exciting, he was with animals.

When he was finally given the responsibility to go bring food to his brothers at war, he showed he was responsible as well.  The Bible includes the fact that he made sure he had a keeper to watch his sheep because he'd be away.  That can only be included to show how he was so faithful and didn't just take off.

When he got to the battle and heard Goliath's challenges to the Israelites, he didn't back down or cower in fear, he ran towards the impossible and embraced the challenge.  Saul was the one who really should have been leading his men, but he was just as much a coward as the men he was leading and made sure he didn't go out.  Most of us just don't do this.  We see the impossible and say, "Yup, that's impossible.  Can't do it."

He also said David was ridiculed for daring to take on Goliath.  Not by just anyone, his brother and Saul, whom he respected.  Jeremiah mentioned that anytime you take on the impossible, you can expect people to attack you because you make them feel bad for not doing it themselves!  They need you to feel just as inadequate as they do.

The timing of the sermon was great because the next morning we had such a strange morning.  It felt like not just one giant, but many giants, came out of nowhere, for all of us.  It began with both our cats going into labour on the same day and both cats losing all their kittens except for one!  One cat was pregnant with only two kittens, but they were so large she couldn't deliver them and so we had to help her, but they'd gone through so much in labour, I guess, that they both came out stillborn.  Tragic for her, tragic for us!  The other cat delivered outside somewhere.  I tried to find out where and could only find two, both alive, shockingly, but one was clearly dying as I'd found it far away from its mom.  So sad for all the kids!  A small giant, for me, but....

Then, a virus that had started over a week ago, continued its way through the family and took down two more kids yesterday.  Normally sick kids don't bother me, but yesterday....seemed hard to take care of them because I was still out looking for kittens!

Then, as I was outside, I noticed the laundry still on the line.....argh...left out all night.  My daughter had kindly put it up, but had forgotten it.  I came in to find piles and piles of laundry unfolded, but clean, everywhere.  I walked in the kitchen and piles of dishes everywhere......

Then, cow out.  Chickens out. Dogs barking.  Suddenly I hated all our animals so much!  I was starting to feel overwhelmed.

Then, my son, who had been doing so great in math, came down and on such a hot, humid day, needed to go to the library.....everyone suddenly was so needy in our family!  All at the same time!

Then, I looked at the garden.  I didn't see vegetables.  I only saw weeds.  Really high weeds.  And all my help was gone.  My husband was at work, the oldest kids were gone.  My helpers were all under 10 and were sick!

Now, I was no different than Saul or the Israelites.  I wanted to stay far away from my giants that seemed to be everywhere.  Each giant on its own was manageable, but when you added them all up, they seemed to be one giant Goliath!  Didn't even know where to begin....

But then, flashback to sermon.  Be faithful in the small things, even if it means one load of laundry at a time.  One sink of dishes at a time.  One row of weeds at a time.  It also occurred to me, maybe this is just some strange spiritual attack?  Why else would everything appear like a giant today when normally it doesn't feel that way?  I looked back over my week and realized, I had taken Satan on, without even knowing it.  I had been meeting with a friend about her marriage struggles and had been making a plan with her on how to make this marriage work.  Ah...I had taken on the impossible.  I had run towards it.  Satan must have hated that because I had been praying hard for her and for the ideal of marriage.  I had made plans that week to get other women together who were in difficult situations and instead of despairng about their situations, I was going to try get them together to encourage, pray, and fast together, on behalf of their marriages. Satan must have hated that, too.  I feel like God opened my eyes to the attack going on.  I was no different than David.  Maybe I wasn't taking on a physical giant (though in some ways it felt like that), but I was certainly taking on a giants.  Seeing the attack for what it was helped me realize I need to not be overwhelmed, I just need to take one task or giant on at a time.  I had also taken on the task of raising 8 kids.  That's a big enough task, but trying to raise godly kids?  That's a whole other matter and so I should expect to be attacked when I attempt that kind of impossible task.  We're still on our debt-reduction plan.  Talk about impossible goals.  All Satan has to do is tell you a little lie in your ear that says, "It'll never happen.  None of these things you want to do will ever happen."  Armour of God.  Man, I need to wear it everyday, all day.

Even though so many were sick, I grabbed one ones who weren't and shared my David pep talk.  We needed to be champions like David, I told them, and be faithful in the many small tasks ahead of us. They were on board.  I gave out the tasks so that it wasn't on just me.  And off we went.  First, dishes. Check.  Then laundry.  Not so quick of a job, but eventually all caught up.  Then garden.  I made great progress and realized it wasn't the end of the world if it didn't all happen in one day.  As for the sick kids, they all rested and relaxed, while the non-sick kids, played happily for what seemed like hours!  The animals seemed to start behaving and quieted down.  My spirit was calming down, too. I knew I was being prayed for.

I felt like a champion.  I had taken Satan on and had won.  I attempted to do all the little things that surrounded me, taking care of my little "sheep", just like David.  I had changed my course which had been to run away from what was ahead of me, my looming giants, and had decided to run towards my impossible list of things to accomplish.  For a mom, the attacks have to be "mommy-ish", kids, meals, laundry, dishes.....Satan isn't that creative!  Thankfully as the attacks came one after another, God opened my eyes to them thanks to that wonderful sermon I had heard the day before.  Giants are not always HUGE things.  Sometimes they can be a bunch of small things added up all together.  Feeling overwhelmed is never a good feeling.  I'm grateful for praying family, God's Word, and the ability to choose to not be overwhelmed.  I feel very badly for those who do not have a spiritual side to them, who are unaware of the spiritual realm.  It can only lead to hopelessness and despair.  Thanks be to God for the awareness that a believer has and for the hope that is available to us.

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