The confrontation between David & Goliath is a story that resonates beyond the faith community. The story of a weaker, overmatched hero rising up to defeat a stronger, better equipped enemy is invoked in the world of sports, politics, and entertainment. It’s a story so many know so well, that when we actually take time to read the story again, it is amazing some of the stuff that we actually learn for the first time.
When David tells King Saul that he will take on the Philistine warrior, Saul responds, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are just a boy, and he has been a warrior from his youth.” I love David’s response:
Your servant used to keep sheep for his father; and whenever a lion or a bear came, and took a lamb from the flock, I went after it and struck it down, rescuing the lamb from its mouth; and if it turned against me, I would catch it by the jaw, strike it down, and kill it.
Saul and the Israelite army saw Goliath as a strong, imposing warrior that could not be defeated. Interestingly enough, we don’t actually ever see him prove his mettle on the battlefield (the only battle we see him fight he loses!). But Goliath sure knows how to talk trash and sound big. And the Israelites fall for every word of it! Based just on what they see and what they hear, everybody cowers in fear. For David? Goliath is no different from a lion or a bear he fights on a regular basis.
I am reminded that so many times we look at problems and conflicts in our lives the same way that the Israelites looked at Goliath. They look imposing, they sound difficult, and so we cower in fear of facing the problem or confronting the conflict. In doing so, we can sometimes make a mountain out of a molehill. You know, a mole hill may only stick up a few inches above the ground, but they can run as deep as 12-18 inches, according to Wikipedia. That is still a noticeable obstacle. The difference is, we would walk across a molehill without thinking twice. There are problems and conflicts that our fear and dread cause us to walk away from as if they were impossible mountains to climb when, if we confronted them, as David confronted Goliath, we might find they are really molehills that we can easily pass over and move on.
In Philippians 4, Paul writes,
I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Through faith, we are invited to approach every problem not in fear of marching to certain destruction but with the confidence that, with Christ, we will find our way over the molehill, even if the molehill is pretty deep. We are invited to not make problems and conflicts bigger than they actually are. We are invited to experience the world not with ears of hype but eyes of truth. When we set free the truth of Christ in our lives, the molehills stay just that, molehills.