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Lions, Bears, and Giants

The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.
1 Samuel 17:37

“Hey, you guys. Don’t be afraid. I’ll fight this Philistine giant.”

But David was young. David was not even a warrior, and certainly not an experienced warrior. Saul felt it necessary to mention these things after David had so fearlessly declared that he himself would fight Goliath.

But David persisted. “When I am taking care of my fathers sheep, and a lion or a bear comes and grabs a lamb from the flock, I go after it with a club and take the lamb from its mouth. If it turns on me I catch it by the jaw and club it to death” (1 Samuel 17:34,35 tlb).

If David had not experienced lions and bears, he would not have been prepared for his confrontation with Goliath.

David spent many quiet, lonely hours perfecting his slingshot techniques, figuring out just what size and shape of stone went to the mark most accurately, how far away he could be from his target and still hit it dead center.

If he hadn’t spent those quiet, lonely hours practicing with his slingshot, learning all of those “insignificant” things, would he have been ready to meet the giant?

David was by himself. He didn’t have the company and the encouragement of others.

But if he had not learned to stand alone, how would he have handled the rejection from Saul and from the people in his kingdom?

David saw the heart of God and came to know the love of God as he watched over his flocks, leading them, caring for them when they were hurt, agonizing over one little lost lamb.

The day-by-day routine brought him to an ever-deeper understanding of Gods love and of Gods ways.

David met and killed the giant that ridiculed his God and terrorized his nation.

And as he watched the round stone find its mark, and felt the earth shake when Goliath fell, it was etched indelibly on David’s mind and heart that his God was able.

* * *

I see all of this, Lord. You were deliberately training David for what You knew would come. Strange. I can see this in the life of David, and yet I always struggle with the things that come into my life. Whats that old proverb about hindsight?

The “things” seem so insignificant at times, Lord, so commonplace, so useless. Are You training me? Will I ever be able to see that my encounters with the “bears and lions” were training sessions? That because of them I was more equipped to meet the “giant” that You knew would appear on my horizon?

Thats what you call a rhetorical question, isn’t it? A question that doesn’t need an answer. I know that as I jump over the one-foot hurdle, in the process I’m preparing for the two-foot hurdle. I guess I want the thrill of seeing the giant fall and feeling the ground shake beneath my tired feet. . . .

No problem, Lord. Im not planning on going AWOL. Im not going to resign from the training program. (You wouldnt let me, would You?) I know that eventually I’ll be a pole-vaulter…of Olympic class. I know that bears and lions lead to giants, and that by Your strength…giants fall.

About the Author

Anabel spent decades teaching in many contexts through Lifetime Guarantee Ministries. She has taught countless others how to have a genuine intimate faith and a sound marriage. She shared from her heart about living from the heart. Lifetime’s beloved founder and mentor passed away November 7, 2010. Her legacy and influence are timeless and priceless.