Read: 1Sam 17:1-58
Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.” 1 Sam 17:33
I absolutely love this story. I found myself getting goosebumps all over again reading it for the umpteenth time! I love the fearlessness of David. And his humility. He constantly pointed to the Lord as the One who would give him victory.
We could talk about David and Goliath for hours and still not get to all the lessons and insights in this amazing story. We just have a moment today (I would encourage you to check out the commentaries on biblegateway.com to read more) so I wanted to point out something that struck me immediately as I was reading this passage today.
David was a young man. Various things I read put David somewhere between the ages of 15 and 22 years old. He had already been anointed by Samuel as the next king, yet when he went to the camp and stated that he would fight Goliath, his oldest brother angrily dismissed him and Saul told him he couldn’t do it, he was too young. As we know, that didn’t stop David. His faith in the “living God” was unwavering and he went on to KO Goliath with a single stone and became a champion and King in the nation of Israel.
I think what struck me was that nobody expected David to fight, much less win. To them, he was just a kid. He should leave the important stuff to the older guys, the guys with the experience and know-how. Who was David to stand up to this giant?
And that makes me think about my own kids – and young people in general. What are our expectations of them? For goodness sakes, I can’t get my 7 year old to flush the toilet – how can I expect her to attempt great things for the living God? And my 10 year old, who seems to forget where the laundry room is on a daily basis – can I expect champion level feats of faith from him?
I think the answer is no – unless I change my expectation.
My daughter, Josie, loves to cook. Last summer she was able to attend a one week “Master Chef” camp and came home every day breathless with excitement over what they had created in the kitchen that day. Soon after the camp week ended Josie asked if she could help make the salad for dinner. I said no because I was chopping stuff up and I was afraid she might cut her finger off if I let her use the knife. Josie assured me that they had learned knife skills at Master Chef camp and she was perfectly capable of wielding a sharp knife.
I had to reach down deep inside, way, way, way deep. I knew I needed to let her chop. I knew I needed to let go of the fear that she couldn’t do it and would hurt herself. I was expecting to have to help her hold the knife and talk her through the complexities of slicing a cuke. But she took the knife in hand and proceeded to show that cucumber who was boss with nary a word from her fearful mother. She did great. And I kicked myself for having such low expectations. You should see her fry an egg – the girl has mad skills.
My kids, your kids, the many kids that are learning about faith in the living God every weekend in Adventure Kids and Student Ministries – they’re all capable of doing something incredible for the sake of the Kingdom. They are learning to love, honor, and serve the One who holds the universe in the palm of His hand. The One who anoints kings and conquers giants. If they can see it in our eyes – that we believe in them and expect that God will do great things in and through them – they just may believe it too.
Let’s lift our expectations and watch with amazement at what God will accomplish through the next generation!
Heavenly Father, thank you that you can use even little children to advance your Kingdom and bring glory to your Name. Help me to see the next generation through your eyes and expect great things because of who you are. Please continue to fill them will your Holy Spirit and your power and may they be a mighty holy force as they shine your light in this dark world. In Jesus’ name, amen.