Snow day! Not that this changes my routine much, but it makes me feel better about curling up with a blanket, a book, the Bible and my laptop in the middle of a Tuesday afternoon. Thank you God, for a beautiful snow day, the roof over my head, heat and the safety of my family. While we pray those thanksgivings, also pray for those who are without shelter, without electricity and without heat during this snow storm. Pray for the postman that is delivering Christmas cards (and bills) as I type.
Okay, on to the "Facing Your Giants" wrap up. We actually finished this up in our Women's Connections Group a couple of weeks ago, and I have been notably absent from blogging for what seems a month now. But I am committed to keeping the conversation going (even if it's just Heidi and me).
Fast-forwarding a few chapters (there was so much good material in between, so I highly recommend reading a copy yourself) to the final chapter of "FYG" and Max Lucado introduces us to the five stones that David selected as he prepared to take down Goliath.
Remember your Goliath? Was it a failing marriage? Questionable employment? An attitude of arrogance? Depression? Debt? Cancer?
David selected five stones to prepare to battle his giant, and we can select the same five stones as we prepare for ours. We can use our hand to remember the five stones. The thumb shall remind you of...
1. The Stone of the Past
David remembered that God had given him strength to wrestle a lion and strong-arm a bear. Certainly He would do the same with the giants. We can learn from this. Write today's worries in sand. Chisel yesterday's victories in stone. Gaze at God's victories. A good memory makes heroes. A bad memory makes wimps.
I came across Heidi's post about her blessings jar. We are going to do that here, and I challenge you to do the same, so that in the midst of your deja vu, you are able to remember His victories.
2. The Stone of Prayer
Lucado says "Note the valley between your thumb and finger. To pass from one to the next you must go through it. Let it remind you of David's descent. Before going high, David went low; before ascending to fight, David descended to prepare. Don't face your giant without first doing the same. Dedicate time to prayer. Paul, the apostle, wrote, 'Prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long' (Eph. 6:18 MSG)."
Max continues, "When David soaked his mind in God, he stood. When he didn't, he flopped. You think he spent much time in prayer the evening he seduced Bathseba? Did he write a psalm the day he murdered Uriah? Doubtful."
"[God] will keep in perfect peace all who trust in [God], whose thoughts are fixed on [God]" (Isa. 26:3 NLT).
Pick up your stone of prayer.
3. The Stone of Priority
Your tallest finger, as Max writes, should remind you that your highest priority is God's reputation. As a Christian we should jealously guard it, letting no one defame the Lord. "David saw Goliath as a chance for God to show off!"
"What if you saw your giant in the same manner? Rather than begrudge him, welcome him. Your cancer is God's chance to flex his healing muscles. Your sin is God's opportunity to showcase grace. Your struggling marriage can billboard God's power. See your struggle as God's canvas. On it he will paint his multicolored supremacy. Announce God's name and then reach for..."
4. The Stone of Passion
Run toward your giant, emphasizing the Lord. "What good has problem-pondering gotten you? You've stared so long you can number the hairs on Goliath's chest. Has it helped?
No. Listing hurts won't heal them. Itemizing problems won't solve them. Categorizing rejections won't remove them."
5. The Stone of Persistence
David had five stones, because he knew that Goliath had "four behemoth relatives". David was not going to give up. He didn't go in to battle with one stone, he went in with five. Five decisions. Past. Prayer. Priority. Passion. Persistence.