Have you faced your Goliath today?

“…it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves.  For the battle belongs to the Lord who shall deliver you into our hands.” 1 Samuel 17:47

I’m sure that everyone has heard the story of David and Goliath as a child. We each probably thought it was an awesome story of courage and strength and deep within wanted to be someone like David.

Have you ever asked yourself if it was David’s precision that knocked Goliath to the ground and allowed him to kill Goliath or was it David’s faith, strength and courage from God that precisely brought Goliath tumbling down so that David could kill him?

ancient antique armor armour
Photo by Maria Pop on Pexels.com

We know the rock that David used was the impacting action that brought Goliath to the ground and we know that the rock had to hit Goliath at the precise location.  These were the physical actions that we see happen.   The underlying spiritual actions that had to take place were definitely God’s presence within David to give him the courage and the skill to accomplish His Will in freeing His people from the Philistines.

Four things David had to do to free the Israelites from the Philistines by conquering the bully:

  1. Believe God existed
  2. Trust God
  3. Surrender to God
  4. Answer God’s call by acting

There are a lot of Goliath’s in this world.  They come in many different forms.  Your Goliath may be a mountain that you have to climb, a fear you have to face, a person who is bullying you, someone who has controlled the world around you, financial debt or an illness you are struggling with?  It can be anything that is preventing you from being free, anything weighing you down, taunting you.

These Goliath’s in our lives bind us by telling us we aren’t good enough, we are weak, we are too small, we are powerless, we will never beat what we are dealing with, and the list goes on.

When we are faced with our own Goliath, we feel weak and alone.  We may even retreat into hiding just like the Israelites became frightened and retreated in 1 Samuels 17.

The good news is that there is a David within each of us that can crush any Goliath in the way.  And just like David, we are victorious through our belief in our Heavenly Father, trust, surrender and answering His call in our circumstance, for great is our glory in God’s victory (Psalm 21:6).

When you are faced with your Goliath today or tomorrow, remember that “the Lord is [your] strength and [your] might (Isaiah 12:2)” and you are never alone for God is with you always.  “When you pass through waters, I will be with you; through rivers, you shall not be swept away.  When you walk through fire, you shall not be burned, nor will flames consume you (Isaiah 43:2).”

“Face [your] GIANTS with confidence (Confidence, Sanctus Real)”  today with faith in a God who loves you, and trusting and surrendering to His Will.

Do you wrestle with stillness?

“Be still and know I am God.”  Psalm 46:11

Do you struggle with stillness?  What is God saying to you when He says “be still and know I am God?”

A couple of years ago this verse danced in my head and I questioned what it really meant to me, what was God saying to me when He said be still and know I am God? 

A few weeks later, I had gone to see my eye doctor just for a regular exam so I could get some contacts.  As I’m sitting in the chair, my doctor looks at me concerned and began asking me a series of questions.  He asked if I was dizzy and having headaches.  I looked at him very confused and slowly stated, I was fine and no I hadn’t been having any issues with headaches or dizziness.  He explained to me that my optic nerve looked swollen.  He said it could be one of two things, it was swelling, which would indicate neurological issues or there was calcium deposits causing it to look like swelling, which would affect my peripheral vision.  He referred me to a neuro ophthalmologist to run further tests.  Of course, like most people, I go home and search the internet, not very wise.  Everything bad under the sun comes up, heightening my anxieties.  I made an appointment to see the specialist.  I spent an entire day undergoing several exams on my eye and was becoming very concerned through each exam.  After all the tests, she still could not make a determination what was going on with my eye and made me an appointment at another facility to have an ultrasound done on my eye.  I was alone and frightened as none of these tests revealed a definitive answer.  I had a couple of hours before the appointment for the ultrasound.  I found myself longing to go sit quietly in a church.  I found a church just down the road from where my ultrasound was scheduled.  When I walked in, I noticed they had Adoration in a small chapel.  I went in to sit, to “be still,” with Jesus.  Being there brought about a calmness and tranquility and all my anxieties on what could be wrong with my eyes were gone.  I was in a state of stillness and I knew that God was in control.  I knew that no matter what the doctor found, this was part of God’s plan in my journey.

Now, when I read that verse and contemplate its meaning, I know that God is telling me, “relax, I have this figured out, you are mine and I am your God, your Heavenly Father who loves you, who has a plan for you and all things in  your life.”

Being still and allowing God to be God, does not mean you have to go to a church or a chapel and find complete solitude or quietness.  You can find this stillness in your home or outdoors.  God is all around you and anytime you find yourself needing to be still, find a comfortable spot, pause and allow Him to reveal to you that He has everything under control because He is God.  This stillness is a moment of focus on God in all matters in your life.

Seeing God in all things

Is your heart open to receiving God?  Is your mind open to allowing Him to reveal Himself to you?  Are your eyes and ears open to seeing and hearing Him around you?

God is present in all things, I have no doubt about that.  He has revealed Himself to me in so many things, small things on the ground, on my windshield, in a person, in a hug, in a book, and through life of the animals and plants around me.  I have written a lot about seeing God in all things.  I want to share an experience I had where God revealed Himself through the Bible and nature.

As I was looking for something, I ran across something in a journal that I had written during a weekend I spent at a Bed N Breakfast two years ago.  I decided to just sit with my Bible on the porch, read and reflect. I flipped to my favorite Psalm, Psalm 139, read it, placed my Bible down, and asked the Holy Spirit to reveal to me what God wanted me to see.  I never imagined what God had in store.  The pages in my Bible flipped.  I picked it up and read something, jotted it down.  Put the Bible back down and the wind turned the pages again, so I picked it back up and jotted the verses I read.  This went on for quite some time.  The most interesting part of it all was that what I was jotting down was in sync with what I was seeing and hearing around me as I peered in the distance from the view of the porch.  This Bed N Breakfast has become a spiritual encounter for me each time I spend a weekend there.  This is my spot to connect with God through nature.  Through this place and what I have learned over the years from the teachings of St. Ignatius, I find that God reveals Himself to us in so many things throughout our day.  It’s just a matter of opening our minds, heart and eyes.  I want to share what I wrote, a composite of all the verses I read.

Why do I seek You Lord when You are with me.  You sit beside me.  You hold me and comfort me.  You rest Your hand upon me.  From Your presence I cannot flee.  You are all around me.  (Psalm 139:5, 7)  I hear a melody as You whisper to my heart a new song, a song of love.  (Psalm 144:9)  I see the birds of Heaven perched in a tree.  Among the branches, he sings a melody.  I know this is meant for me, to know that You are near, that You are singing to my heart.  Your melody is found in the chimes of the wind as You turn the page of Your Word, speaking to my heart.  You tell me You guard my steps by day and my sleep by night for You never slumber nor sleep.  I find rest in knowing Your hand will guard me from the enemy.  (Psalm 144:4,7)  For You tell me that You are my Father, I am Your daughter.  You are the Rock of my salvation.  (Psalm 89:27)  You fill me with Your mercy as I am poor and needy. (Psalm 109:22)  You give me food for my soul as I marvel in Your wondrous works.  For great are Your works, majestic and glorious. (Psalm 111:2-3)  The trees sparkle like fluttering butterflies as they dance to Your harmony.  The birds are so carefree as they spread their wings and are lifted to the Heavens.  My mind is in awe as I watch the light of Your presence sweep across the grass like a lamp for my feet guiding my path. (Psalm 119:105)  Your hand is my compass as it brushes the grass saying follow me.  The wind is Your messenger guiding my journey, never fleeing and always patient.  Your light is a cloak covering my soul.  The clouds are Your chariot on the wings of the wind lifting my heart and my soul to a place of rest in Your presence. (Psalm 104:1-4)

As the pages were turning in my Bible and I was jotting down verses and taking in everything around me I noticed a few things.  I observed, a bright colorful cardinal perched in a nearby tree, a beautiful coat of red contrasting the leaves of the tree.  I heard songs of the birds as I listened attentively.  I knew this song was for me to hear, to know God was near, present in the melody.

In the distance, I watch as the light and the shadows brushed the meadow.  The winds moved the grass as if God’s hand was gliding over it.  The light moved across the field followed by a shadow, as if the chariot of the clouds was traveling ‘on the wings of the wind.’  The view, the sounds and the verses I read all made sense.  God was speaking to me through the wind.  The Holy Spirit was turning the pages of the Bible and my eyes and ears were drawn to things surrounding me to let me know that this was meant for me to hear and to see, to feel God’s presence, to know He was with me always guiding and protecting me.

The last verses I read as I sat on that porch were:

  • “Teach us to count our days aright that we may gain wisdom of heart,” Psalm 90:12.
  • “Fill us at day break with Your mercy that all our days we may sing for joy,” Psalm 90:14.
  • “If only I had wings like a dove that I might fly away and find rest.  Far away I would flee; I would stay in a desert.  I would soon find a shelter from the raging wind and storm,” Psalm 55:7-9
  • My message to you my friends as I write this is that we never journey alone. God is with us in each moment, in the subtlety of life. Ask Him today to reveal Himself to you. Open your heart, mind, eyes and ears to receive Him. Perhaps in your path, you will see a cross on the sidewalk from the formation of pine needles or the warmth of air will brush your face in a moment of need. In these moments, He is letting you know He’s there.
  • The Companion

    When I walked in the desert, I felt alone.  My heart was distant, anxious and alone.  I thirst but was not satisfied.  I longed for something more but could not find it.  My mind searched as my feet shifted the grains of sand beneath them.  The desert winds tossed me here and there as the sand whirled around me and I could not see.  I was blinded by all that was swirling around me until I caught a glimmer of movement.  “Please rescue me from this storm” I yelled.  “I can’t breathe any longer.”  I began to focus on this movement beyond the whirlwind around me that was within my reach.  Suddenly, the winds calmed and there You were, my constant Companion, my Refuge.

    When I walked along the river alone and distracted.  I hungered for something but could not find satisfaction from the fruits along the path.  I longed for more and searched here and there with no gratification.  My mind wandered into the past as I stumbled and fell.  Into the raging river, my body was swept away.  I was tossed and turned beneath the water’s furious current.  From beneath the water surface I could see a hand reaching down.  I yelled, “Help me. I’m drowning.”  As I focused on this hand above me, I was pulled from the raging waters and there You were, my constant Companion and Refuge.

    A volcano is where I ventured to dwell in my pain and suffering.  My fears surrounded me and overcame me as I ventured alone.  When I approached it’s base, it began to erupt.  The lava surrounded me, trapping me as the heat around me intensified.  Nearby I could see a figure.  As I looked upon it, I began to yell, “Help me, please.  Release me from this fire.  Please don’t let it consume me.”  As I focused on this figure, I was lifted from the fiery lava and there You were, my constant Companion and Refuge.

    As I dwell in the desert, drown in the raging river or am consumed by the fiery heat of a volcano, You are my Companion, opening your arms with love and telling me I’m never alone.  Your love and companionship is constant.  It is I who ventures off, leaving You, ignoring You.  When I place my focus on You, “Through rivers, [I] shall not be swept away.  When [I] walk through fire, [I] shall not be burned, nor will flames consume [me].”

    We are never alone when we welcome Jesus to be our Companion and Refuge.  Your anxieties, distractions, pain and sufferings, although present are second to His presence.  He rescues you and provides all that you are longing for – His loving presence.