Goliath jogged David’s memory. Elah was a déjà vu. While everyone else quivered, David remembered. God had given him strength to wrestle a lion and strong-arm a bear. Wouldn’t he do the same with the giant?
David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.” (17:34–36)
A good memory makes heroes. A bad memory makes wimps. Amnesia made a wimp out of me last week. My Goliath awoke me at 4:00 a.m. with a woeful list of worries. Our church was attempting to raise money for a youth building, more money than we had ever raised in one effort.
The giant awoke me with ridicule. You guys are crazy. You’ll never collect that much money. I couldn’t argue. The economy is down. People are stressed. We may not raise enough to buy one brick. Goliath had me running for the trees.
But then I remembered David, the nine-to-two odds, the story of the lion and the bear. So I decided to do what David did: gaze at God’s victories. I climbed out of bed, walked into the living room, turned on the lamp, pulled out my journal, and began making a list of lion- and bear-size conquests.
In the five previous years, God had prompted
- a businessman to donate several acres of land to the church;
- another church to buy our old building;
- members to give above the needs, enabling the church to be 80 percent debt free.
God has done this before, I whispered. A lion’s head hangs in the church foyer, and a bear rug rests on the sanctuary floor. About this time I heard a thud. Right there in the living room! I turned around just in time to see Goliath’s eyes cross and knees buckle and body fall face-first on the carpet. I stood and placed a foot on his back and chuckled, Take that, big boy.1
“Remember His marvelous works which He has done” (1 Chron. 16:12). Catalog God’s successes. Keep a list of his world records. Has he not walked you through high waters? Proven to be faithful? Have you not known his provision? How many nights have you gone to bed hungry? Mornings awakened in the cold? He has made roadkill out of your enemies. Write today’s worries in sand. Chisel yesterday’s victories in stone. Pick up the stone of the past.
Max Lucado, Facing Your Giants (Nashville: W Pub. Group, 2006), 3–4.
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