I was tucking him in bed when he posed the question.
“Mommy, do you know why David only had to use one stone to kill Goliath even though he had five in his pocket?”
Before I could answer, my sleepy-eyed theologian interrupted and said, “I know, Mommy. I know!”
It was clear that he wasn’t looking for my answer; he already had his answer.
“I’m not sure, buddy. Why do you think?”
“I think it was because God directed that one stone.”
Smiling, I ran my hands through his messy hair and said, “Buddy, I think you’re perfectly right.”
As I shut his door, blew him kisses, and said, ” night night,” I couldn’t escape the uniquely constructed words that my little boy had used.
“Because God directed that one stone.”
I had never thought of it like that, never in those terms and never in that way. But, oh, was I ever glad he had. Why? Because my heart needed to inhale the truth of those words…in that way and in those terms.
I’m not really sure why David decided to pick up five stones, but he did. And honestly, I’m not even sure why God thought it was pertinent to include the number of stones secured. In fact, I’ve never really given it any thought at all …at least not until a few nights ago when I left my little boy’s dimly lit room.
Why did David pick up five stones?
Why did God choose to use one?
did God choose to leave four his pockets?
I honestly don’t know.
But here’s what I DO know. David was the ONLY one who wasn’t cowering in fear, holding fast to his spear, his shield, and his sword-fighting abilities.
David, the small shepherd on mission to bring lunch to his big
brave brothers, was the ONLY one who stepped up to the plate with God’s confidence.
Standing up to the arrogant Philistine, he confidently exclaimed, “…I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord‘s, and he will give you into our hand.” 1 Samuel 17:45-47
I don’t know about you, but David sounds pretty sure of what and who is about to go down. The battle was the Lord’s, and David was confident of it.
So why did he pick up five stones? I really don’t know.
Maybe “sling-shotters”used five stones.
Maybe his favorite number was “5.”
Maybe he had an aversion to even numbers.
Maybe he wasn’t sure how many stones God was going to use to complete His defeat.
I don’t know why David did what he did.
But as I took time to reflect on this whole rock-collecting, giant-slaying, stone-flinging scenario, the Spirit convicted my soul about the reason why Jessica often chooses to pick up “five stones” when facing her “giants.”
And the reason is very, very simple and very, very revealing.
Jessica isn’t always confident that God can “direct that one stone.”
And because I subconsciously doubt, I…
rest in my abilit(ies),
regard my idea(s),
role-play my plan(s),
rationalize my thought(s),
ready my strateg(ies),
rehearse my goal(s),
and rely on ME.
I want to be ready for the battle.
I want to be ready for all the scenarios.
I want to be ready to explain my behavior.
I want to be ready to answer all the questions.
I want to be ready to balance all the responsibilities.
I want to be ready to take control…at any moment…just in case that “one stone” is not enough.
JUST IN CASE…God doesn’t do it how I think it should be done in the way I think it should be done in the timing of when I think it should be done.
JUST. IN. CASE.
ick. uck. blek.
All too often, I find myself putting my trust in my pocket and in my “other four stones.”
Rather than trusting that God can carry out His perfect plan for all my battles with just ONE STONE–Himself–I busy myself with my back-up plans and stand-by strategies.
Now I’m not suggesting that we live our lives with no ideas, no plans, no thoughts, no abilities, no strategies, and no goals. NO; that’s foolish. But I guess what I’m suggesting is that maybe
we I need to stop living my life relying on my stones to fight what I perceive as my battles.
Maybe I need to start from the beginning and do some serious re-framing, remembering that all these “giants” and all these “battles” are not really MINE in the first place, but rather His. And maybe if I remembered that truth when I went into the “battles of life,”then maybe…just maybe…I wouldn’t even be thinking about my stones and my plans.
In fact, I’m pretty sure God’s Word makes it perfectly clear of WHO owns the battles and WHO fights the battles.
But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” Exodus 14:14
When you go out to battle against your enemies and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt, is with you… Do not be fainthearted. Do not be afraid, or panic, or tremble before them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you. He will fight for you against your enemies, and he will give you victory! Deuteronomy 20:1-4
Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch forth Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, And Your right hand will save me. Psalm 138:7
Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
The battle is His and the weapons are His, so what do I do?
“Stand still and watch.”
“Do not anxiously look about…”
In short, the only stone I really bring to the battle is FAITH–faith in the ONE who directs the stone.