Adversity is a mark of living. If you’re alive, you will face hardship. Navigating through—and bouncing back from it—is a gift. It’s also a skill you can cultivate. You can grow in your ability to recover; find hope; and press on. Resiliency is admirable. When was a time in your life that you found your way through darkness?
Sociologists and psychologists share that knowing and telling your story is a way to grow these advantageous traits. It’s not that I disagree—knowing and telling your story is important. But this version of self-help undercuts the power and potency of knowing and telling the story of what God is up to in your life. Do you see the difference?
David is a great example. He enters the biblical story in the most unremarkable way. Samuel was the prophet who helped transition Israel from the time of the judges to the time of the kings. In 1st Samuel 16, Samuel was sent to Jesse because the Lord has “provided myself with a king from among his sons.” He shows up to anoint one of Jesse’s sons and David wasn’t even invited to the party. Have you ever been left out? The Lord tells Samuel “The Lord sees not as people see: people look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
What stories do you replay over and over again in your mind? From your childhood? A challenging relationship? A failure? If I were David, I think I would always remember about the time the prophet of the Lord came over for a big gathering and my dad thought so highly of me that he sent me out to the field. It’s easy to remember—and build your identity—around the times you are excluded, forgotten, and cast aside. Do those wounds speak louder in your story?
David shows us the power of believing the story of God’s work in your life.
In the very next chapter of 1st Samuel David defeats Goliath. The whole story is a masterclass in David’s faith and confidence in the Lord’s work in his life. For this battle, David’s strength wasn’t in the metal he wore or wielded. His strength was the Lord. It was on display most boldly in the final taunt before he flung that fateful stone from his sling. “You come to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of Host, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.”
There are many important lessons you can learn from this story. But today, look at the beauty of a man who listened to what the Lord was doing in His life and not what others were saying. David knew his story. But, more than that, He drew confidence and strength from the story that God was writing in his life.
This Lent, beginning with Ash Wednesday on February 22nd, our Wednesday nights will center on the work and story of God in your life. Join us. Get to know your story. But, more importantly, get to know deeper the story of what God is doing in your life. So you can slay your giants—all because of God’s good work in you.