I’ve been reflecting on our adoption journey a lot this week. As each morning I trepidatiously check my email, hoping for word that our daughter’s passport is FINALLY ready, I have found myself fighting frustration at the waiting. (Sound familiar, anyone?) But as several friends reminded me, there is no wasted waiting. No wasted tears. God is always at work, doing something, whether we see it right now or not. So, tonight, I found a quite moment to dive into God’s word, and again I am so glad it is alive! I can read the same passage a thousand times and it can teach me new truths each time.
I turned to 1st Samuel, to chapters 16 and 17. This is the story of David and Goliath. Even those who don’t read the Bible know this story. It is used as an adjective even in the secular world. (If you want to read the entire story, please look it up! You don’t have to buy a Bible to do so…just do a web search on 1 Samuel 17-18.)
And what new truths I found! First, when we are doing Yahweh’s work, we WILL be attacked. We will be questioned, doubted, and even hated. And it won’t come from just those who don’t know God. It can even come from those who claim to know God. Chapter 17:28 finds David in this situation. His older brother loathes the fact that David is considering doing something radical for God: “When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.”
Whoa. Listen to those venomous words! David’s own brother not only attacked David’s intentions, he also attacked his character as well as his daily occupation. Belittling him with jealousy, Eliab was not speaking to David like a loved one. David could have totally backed down at this point, not wanting to look “conceited.” But David kept on.
Eliab wasn’t the only one who doubted David. King Saul quickly heard of this young boy and called for him. “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.”
Now, it’s one thing for your competitive brother to not believe in you. But it’s another for the king, the leader of your people to try to talk you out of your destiny. At this point, I am sure many of us would have come to our senses and walked away. Surely the king knows better than a boy, right??
But, David recounts to Kind Saul that, with his bare hands, he had killed both a lion and a bear. Saul is convinced, either out of astonishment or lack of other options. He gives David his armor. But David cannot move freely in such heavy armor, and removes it. He approaches his destiny.
Here comes the next guy who didn’t believe in David. You know who it is…Goliath. David has passed the family members, made his way past a respectable leader, but now? Now he must face a giant. An ugly, arrogant giant, that, according to biblical scholars, was between 1-3 feet taller than most men of that day! So, here comes a young shepherd boy…with NO armor on…coming to fight a massive, confident creature, who had considerable battle experience.
I wonder if the words of Eliab, Saul, and Goliath were ringing in David’s ears as he approached this battle….”with whom did you leave those few sheep…? I know how conceited…and how wicked your heart is”…”You are not able to go out against this Philistine…you are only a young man”…”Come here, and I’ll give your flesh to the birds of the air and the wild animals!”
But here is what I LOVE to read. David’s reply…”All those gathered here will know that it is not by the sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”
And little David, with no armor, no sword, and really no emotional support, takes what he has in his hand: a stone.
Let’s stop there. I love this part! How many times do we feel like we don’t measure up? Like we don’t have enough education, don’t make enough money, don’t have enough experience, aren’t attractive enough, aren’t fit enough, aren’t a picture-perfect parent…blah, blah, blah.
Who. Flippin. Cares.
What is in your hand?? You have something there. Open it and look!
Whatever it is, God can use that. That thing. That thing that you don’t think is significant. That little. Bitty. Stone.
And why? Because, “The battle is the Lord’s.” See? Now we can all relax and say, “Ahhhh.”
“As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground. So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.” (17:48-50)
It’s been said before, but I want you to realize that you are SO VERY SIGNIFICANT. Truly. And those little talents, those little desires, those tiny pastimes you enjoy…those things might just be your little stone. It wasn’t a theologian who defeated the giant that day. No highly educated man. No decorated warrior. Just a boy, a stone, and his God.
So, here’s your homework. Ask God what your stone is. Then, listen. Once you figure it out, ask Him how He can use it to defeat giants in your life. How God can do big things with what is in your hand. You are important!
And here is my homework: I am going to do the same, and my goal is to use my stone to do whatever I can while I wait. There is no wasted waiting!