If I asked a church group to name their favorite Bible story, David and Goliath would surely get several votes. The classic plot of underdog-beats-bully appeals to most of us. In addition, David provides a powerful example of faith in the face of fear.
This familiar story was the reading assignment during my Bible study one morning almost thirty years ago. But a new lesson awaited me that day, and has impacted my life ever since.
Following the reading of 1 Samuel 17, the study guide asked: “How did David’s past experiences of the Lord’s deliverance give him confidence to face the present challenge?” The author was referring to the bears and lions David had defeated while caring for his father’s sheep (vs. 34-36). Such experiences had prepared David to face Goliath with faith and courage.
Then came the clincher question: “What practical lessons does this teach us about the value of remembering, and the importance of proving God’s presence and power in ordinary daily living?”
I could easily recall several outstanding experiences when God’s presence and power were definitely at work in my life. But I knew there were many more which had slipped out the back door of my memory and were gone forever.
So I decided to begin writing down instances of God’s presence and power. Then when Goliath-sized problems arose in my life, I could review those entries and build up my faith.
The first incident occurred that very afternoon. I locked myself out of the house as Jeremy, our youngest, and I left to pick up his older brother and sister from school. My pastor-husband, Steve, was attending a meeting forty-five minutes away and wouldn’t be home until late that night. To make matters worse, dinner was simmering on the stove. (Remember, this happened nearly thirty years ago, before cell phones.)
I did have the car keys so we drove to school and started to pray for God to help us. Upon returning, I tried every door and window. Nothing budged. We went to a neighbor’s house. I started to call several leaders from our church, hoping someone would have a parsonage key.
During the second or third call, who should pull up in the driveway but Steve! His meeting had adjourned early. With a few spare minutes on his way to another appointment, Steve thought he’d stop by to see the kids. Our car in the neighbor’s driveway indicated where we were.
Now some folks would call that mere coincidence. Not I. That was a God-incidence, and it became the first entry in my Blessings Journal. I concluded that record with this prayer: “Thank You, Lord, for this little miracle, for proving your power and presence to me the very day I determined to look for it. You are a great and marvelous God, yet you cared for one forgetful mother with one small problem.
P.S. That Blessings Journal now contains over 900 entries of remarkable gifts and events!
What indication of God’s presence and power have you experienced recently?
(art credit: http://www.livingfaithtogether.wordpress.com)