Monday, February 19, 2024

How far am I will to walk to serve my parent or my God?

How far am I willing to walk to serve the living God? Will I proclaim the truth even after a long journey? Will I remain steadfast even when those I am trying to help give me what I don’t need or what hasn’t been tested? Will I fight the good fight even when the enemy taunts daily the people of God? 

These are a few of the questions the LORD put to me recently as I studied David and Goliath’s battle. It was one of those mornings where I woke up in the wee hours of the morning and decided around 4:00 am to go ahead and get up because sleep was elusive. I had a very deep time with the LORD as I studied this battle and by 6:00 am I decided to take a nap until 7:00 am before I should get up to take care of things before an 8:30 am meeting. I went into the kitchen to make Greg’s famous eggs in the air fryer. He just discovered this method of frying an egg and I wanted him to show me. We set it up and I went to get ready while they cooked. When I came back into the kitchen the air fryer had tripped the fuse which turned off the refrigerator and probably a few other things. Greg set out to fix this. 

Then the fire alarms went off and would not stop. Apparently, the toaster downstairs burnt the toast. At this point, our stress levels were heightened. My goal for the morning was to take it slow and relax as I focused on quiet work because I was fasting for a shot in my spine to alleviate symptoms of spinal stenosis. The morning was anything but peaceful. I finally sat down after texting my boss three times to say I needed to delay our meeting when the phone rang. It was Mom. She was obviously having a hard time breathing. She needed me. The worker did not show up and Papa needed care. She tried, but it was too much. Without thinking I walked into the room and said, “I am about to get in a meeting.” Mom immediately felt attacked. She got defensive and then before I knew it we were in a fight. It was awful and honestly looking back stupidly funny. Once I sucked in my stupidity and did somewhat of a moment of let's get it together and remember your heart is good and so is mine, I set about helping Papa. As I helped Papa, the need to protect him and bless him immediately took over my heart and peace covered me. I knew how to handle that process, but when it comes to my mom being stressed I lost it pretty quickly. I am ashamed to say that I am not as quick to remember my role in serving. 

As I reflected on this moment, it occurred to me that I don’t have to walk six hours like David to do what the LORD asks of me. I only need to walk down a flight of stairs. But sometimes it is so hard to do the LORD’s will. As I studied David’s battle with Goliath I realized that David had to get up very early in the middle of the night to go take food for his brothers to be at the battle line at the start of the day. I looked it up. It is 30.7 km from Bethlehem to the Valley of Elah where the battle took place. David had to walk that distance which would take approximately six hours by foot. How far have you traveled to do an errand for your parent, your siblings, or a family member? 

David immediately went to where his brothers were on the battlefront and when he saw that Goliath was taunting the living God of Israel he was willing to speak up about it. Word got back to his older brother Eliab and Eliab actually called David evil for saying, “Who is this that defies the living God of Israel?” What David said was holy and righteous, but Eliab had a different perspective about his little brother. He assumed he was out for evil and just out to see the battle. David responded with a typical sibling whine, “What did I do now?” 

As if that was not enough, King Saul tried to put on David his own armor. Now, we must remember that we are told that Saul stands a full head taller than all of the people in the land. This man was not small and David was but a youth. Anyone in their right mind would know that his armor would not fit and would not be wise to use in a battle. King Saul should have had that armor on and stood in the front line to fight for his people, but instead, he was somewhere removed enough to offer his armor to a young boy. I love David’s response, “I cannot use this because it is not tested!” David was wise enough to know that in a battle you need to be comfortable with what you take to the battlefront. You cannot wear someone else’s armor without knowing how your body will respond to it. A wise person slows down and remembers what has been effective in the past. 

David faced so much in that morning, but David kept his eyes on what mattered. He knew that the living God of Israel was where victory happened. He alone was the one who would deliver them. He was willing to walk a long journey to honor his dad and brothers, but even more so the living the God of Israel. He was willing to speak up when everyone else cowered. He was willing to press in even when his brother called him evil. He was willing to say, “No!” when King Saul tried to dress him in his armor. David knew that the battle belonged to the living God. He alone gave victory. He trusted God above all else. He was willing to risk his life and take on a giant because his belief in God’s presence and victory had proven faithful in the past. 

I had to inhale and exhale for a moment as I pondered the story. Sometimes, I think it is hard to walk down a flight of stairs to honor my parents. I focus on circumstances like a blown fuse, fire alarm, body stress, emotional words, etc. instead of the living God and His presence. 

I have a lot to learn from David. I am enjoying studying David because I truly see someone who is in the middle of all the stuff of life really trying to honor God just like me. He was a kid seeking to honor his dad, a child of God seeking to fight for His honor, a younger sibling putting up with big brothers, and a citizen trying to honor his king. I realize that my battle is not against a giant like Goliath, but I do feel the pressure and frustration of circumstances and need the reminder that the living God is present. He delivers. He gives victory. He saves. Even when a morning routine is not what you expected. He is present. I want David’s strength of belief to be evident in me even when I only have to walk down a flight of stairs to serve. Don’t you!

Yes, LORD! Amen!

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