David asked the soldiers standing nearby, “What will a man get for killing this Philistine and ending his defiance of Israel? Who is this pagan Philistine anyway, that he is allowed to defy the armies of the living God?”
–1 Samuel 17:26 (NLT)
In the deep, dark forest where no one else lived, a wicked giant once dwelt in luxury. He ruled with an iron hand, and his kingdom was made up of sad children.
The unfortunate kids were captured by the giant’s henchmen, and then brought to the giant’s palace. Here they were inspected by the cruel giant himself. He tested their skills at hopping, jumping, and running. Upon passing inspection, the giant would order that they be taken to a very dark room and flogged, to ensure their obedience. After this, they were forced to drink a strong and magical tea, which made them forget all about their former lives. The giant wouldn’t lift a finger if his life depended on it, so most of these torturous duties were performed by his servants.
Once the children had been beaten and put under the giant’s subduing spell, the servants placed all of the kids in classes. Here they were given new names. They were also told that the giant’s forest was the only kingdom in the world, and that all the land as far as they could see belonged to their new master. Therefore, his subjects had no choice but to do his bidding.
The giant’s pint-sized prisoners toiled from morning to evening, and they lived in terrible conditions. Their clothes were ragged and torn, and they never had enough to eat. But the wicked giant didn’t care, for he was very rich and greedy. As if that weren’t enough, it was always very cold, because no sunlight shown through the trees, and the wind blew constantly.
Things went on this way for many years until one of the children, Perren, had an idea. “When the giant is asleep,” he whispered to the others, “we’ll dig a deep tunnel so that we can keep warm.” The young boy’s plan worked, and he and the other kids huddled together, reasonably happy for a time. It was rumored that Perren was gifted with wisdom, so the children formed a secret club, and he became their leader.
It wasn’t very nice, but the smaller subjects would stand outside, while the big kids pushed their way into the front of the line to enter the underground clubhouse each day. Because of this, there was never enough room for all the club members. The children who stood outside were always very cold. Upon finding out about this, Perren was very angry. He addressed the others and spoke in a low voice. “For the sake of our smallest members, you must dig deeper!”
“We can’t!” all of the children replied.
“You must use the magic shovel. I will show you how.”
But the others were all scared, and they ran away. Perren was all alone, but he decided to soldier on and enlarge their tunnel anyway.
As he dug, an amazing thing happened. He found some little wafers, and being very hungry, he ate one. It tasted like honey, which he hardly ever had the pleasure of enjoying, so he ate as many as he could.
Before he could tell the others about his discovery, he began to remember who he really was. “My name isn’t Perren!” he said to himself. “It’s David!”
Then he remembered what the teacher had once told him and his classmates in Sunday school, before the giant’s reign had begun. A long time ago, there had been another David who defeated a great giant because of his faith in God.
“Surely,” David thought out loud, “God will help me in the same way.”
So he decided to trust God, and with the help of his faith, he defeated the wicked giant. Once they were set free, the children were no longer afraid, and they had a huge celebration which lasted for many days. Then all the kids finally returned home to their parents’ loving care.
You might think this story is a bit simplistic, but it is meant to be this way so I could illustrate a point. Instead of coming to God like children, we often allow obstacles or excuses to stand in our way. Problems like lay-offs and sickness paralyze us, and we fail to see that these troubles are the giants which defeat us.
We may make deals with God, or say our best and most beseeching prayers. But the upshot is that we sometimes approach God without the simple trust which David displayed.
On the other hand, Jesus challenged our complicated lifestyles. He said we must become like little children in order to enter His kingdom. So, let’s pause and reflect upon what this means.
Several things characterize the life of a little child, but I think we need to start out with two traits that are intertwined. The first characteristic is dependency, which is the opposite of what we are taught in our culture. Think about all the tasks you acomplish on your own. Then, think about how your life would be different if you could not perform these tasks without help.
In actuality, our independence is just an illusion. If we believe that everything we have comes from God’s hand, we are only the recipients of His mercy and grace. But being a receiver is one of the hardest things to do, and I would like to tell you how this has played out in my life.
Neither my wife nor I can see, but God has blessed us with a wonderful life together. We have many fantastic friends who have helped us along the way. So while receiving is still not always easy, God teaches us on a daily basis how to be grateful. That is a hard lesson at times, but I guarantee you that it leads down the path of humility–our second childlike characteristic.
Having said the above, let’s make a spiritual application. We need to receive the blessings of God with thanksgiving, so that we can pass them along to others. For example, you may have a special talent that you are proud of. “I have gotten here through my own strength,” you say. But wait just a minute. Who gave you the strength or ability to acquire that skill in the first place?
Realizing that you are dependent upon an almighty God for your next breath causes a childlike humility to be born and cultivated within you.
But this is a life-long journey, because all of us tend to go backwards sometimes. You will find that in receiving, however, you give back in ways that you never imagined. Letting people help us out has opened the door so that we could speak to them about Christ.
Take the first steps along this path, and you will see the world in a new way. Just as a child is able to find good in a difficult situation, look for blessings in even the most difficult circumstances, and cultivate real power as you walk with God in childlike simplicity.
Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.hcmachaplains.org and click on the Donate Now link. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 101 S Kraemer BLVD, Suite 123A, Placentia, CA 92870.
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