A brave and fearless boy, standing amidst clouds of dust (and doubt) stirred up by the feet (and fearful hearts) of thousands of restless soldiers; standing before a giant double his size, ready to dismember him limb by limb. This is the mental image conjured up by the minds of most people whenever they think of the story of David and Goliath.
By God’s Grace, I’ve got two or three “coins” to rub together in my pocket. Now unless David had had the unfortunate accident of having a traumatic fall in the backside of the desert, and seriously hurting his amygdala in the process, I’m confidently willing to bet one of these “coins” that David wasn’t fearless as he faced up to Goliath.
In David’s experience with Goliath, there’s a gamut of lessons to be learned, and one of such is a lesson on facing your fears (the right way). And something tells me that this lesson is one we’re going to be needing, as we continue in the New Year.
But David said to Saul, “Your servant was tending his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, I went out after it and attacked it and rescued the lamb from its mouth; and when it rose up against me, I seized it by its whiskers and struck and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, since he has taunted and defied the armies of the living God.” “…the Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”…1 Samuel 17:34-37 (AMP)
The above was David’s response to King Saul after he had briefed David on the battle hardened fighting machine that was Goliath. David’s response was not to deny the obvious fact that Goliath was a more experienced fighter than he was. David did not have Goliath’s experience, but he had had his own experiences in the desert.
In facing our fears, it’s only wise that we acknowledge that we have a real problem in front of us, not one that can be wished or “motivated” away. But more importantly though, it’s important that we do not “play truant with life” or “skip classes”. Every experience, every challenge, every win or loss, presents a lesson we must learn.
When we learn from our past experiences and grow, we can confront challenges with something more than foolish bravery, knowing that there’s indeed a (difficult?) challenge to be fixed, but still confronting such challenges with boldness, knowing that your experiences have given you the Wisdom to handle whatever comes your way.