Tuesday, May 3, 2011
STONING OUR GIANTS
Millenium Park Giant, Chicago, IL
Many of us remember the Bible story of David and Goliath from our days in a youth Sunday school or a summer camp. When the Israelites entered the Promised Land they conquered all the inhabitants except three cities including one called Gath. This was a land of giants. The Israelite army of the living God had reached a stalemate with the army of the region and one of these giants named Goliath who stood over nine feet tall was among them. He issued a winner take all duel between him and any Israelite taker. All of the soldiers were afraid to challenge Goliath until a small shepherd boy named David showed up with a stone sling shot. God had assisted him in slaying both a lion and bear that had threatened his sheep. David placed his trust in God to continue to be with him to “deliver him” from the hand of this Philistine. And that is what he did by way of a rounded river stone that found its mark on the giant’s forehead when it was revealed as he bent back to laugh at the small intruder.
We all encounter giants that take on all sorts of forms as we traverse this life. I can attest that it’s much harder to face them alone. But one of the last words Jesus left us with was recorded in Matthew 28:20, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age”. Perhaps one of my biggest giants was experiencing a potentially fatal heart attack and the subsequent open heart surgery. It’s rather daunting to be lying on an operating table knowing that a man you have only briefly met will be opening your chest cavity and holding your beating heart in his hands. But I learned that it’s not so much about trusting a stranger as it is trusting a loving creator to hold your hand and be with you no matter what the outcome. The worst outcome of meeting one of these giants head on like David did is the loss of your life, which is quite probably not going to happen. And although a Christian believes in the promise of an eternal spiritual life, most folks don’t want to go right now. Short of that, with our creator God at our side as promised, we can face these giants with the resolve it takes to stone them out of our path and carry on. The God who was with young David when he stoned his giant is the same living God who stands with us on every occasion we ask for his strength and peace to confront our giants. The calm peace that overcame me on that operating table has continued to sustain me against subsequent giants as well.