1 Samuel 17:1-18:16
2 Corinthians 6:1-16
Peace be with you!
One of my favorite movies is The Blind Side. It tells the story of Michael Otto, who grew up in foster care after being taken away from his drug-addicted mother. Despite his poor grades, Michael was admitted to a private school, which hoped to use his large stature as an advantage on the football team. The Tuohys, a wealthy family, take Michael in after finding him wandering the streets late one night. Eventually the Tuohys adopt Michael and make him a part of their family. The Tuohy’s faith in God the Father is remarkable. Throughout the movie, you see Mrs. Touhy pray to God for guidance as she takes Michael in and slowly thinks of him as her son. The first night Michael stays with them Mrs. Tuohy ask her husband if he thinks he will steal anything and prays for guidance. Mrs. Tuohy hires a tutor for Michael to help him improve his grades so he can play football. Although it takes him a few practices to learn his position, Michael becomes a powerful offensive tackle once Ms Tuohy taps into his protective instincts. Michael is able to raise his GPA to 2.52 in order to attend Ole Miss and gets drafted to Baltimore Ravens after college.
The story of David and Goliath reads a lot like The Blind Side as both young boys go from underdog to hero. When David is just a young boy, King Saul sends him to fight Goliath, a descendent of the Nephilim – the giants. Goliath challenges the Israelites’ army to a duel to see if one of the men can kill him – seemingly an impossible task.
When David hears about the challenge, he volunteers to fight the giant, given his experience killing bears and lions with his bare hands to keep his father’s sheep safe. King Saul dresses David in his armor and gives him his sword, but it is too heavy for him to wear so he takes it off and just takes his staff, five rocks, his slingshot, and the power of the Lord (1 Samuel 17:40). David puts his faith in the Lord like the sheep put their trust in him as shepherd.
Upon seeing David, Goliath mocks him. How will a small boy fight against a giant with just rocks and a slingshot? When Goliath defies the Lord by promising to feed him to the animals, David says he comes in the name of the Lord, who will protect him (1 Samuel 17:43-47). David has faith that the Lord will protect him against Goliath no matter what happens. His trust in the Lord shows us what God can do when we give our lives to him.
With a single rock to Goliath’s forehead, David takes down the giant in the epic ending. No one would have guessed that a small boy would defeat a giant. Only the Lord could make this happen.
Like David, Jesus does the impossible. The disciples are going across the Sea of Galilee in a boat with Jesus. Jesus falls asleep after a long day of preaching to a crowd. Suddenly a storm causes the boat to rock and take on water. The disciples start panicking, so they wake up Jesus. When he wakes up, Jesus yells at the wind and says to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” and the sea calms down (Mark 4:39 NRSV).
Then he turns to his disciples and asks, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” (Mark 4:40 NRSV). Jesus is challenging his disciples. It is as though Jesus asks, “Did you really think I would let you die? Really guys, have some faith in me after all you have witnessed – healing the sick, feeding thousands with little food, and casting out demons. Come on, boys, it is just a small storm.”
You can see the disciples roll their eyes as they are thinking, “Just a small storm! The boat was taking on water. We could have drowned back there. And who are you? The wind and sea even obey you.” (Mark 4:41). The quieting of the storm at Jesus’ command seems impossible by our standards today too. If a tornado or a hurricane comes our way, we quickly grab the essentials and run and hide. We have not figured out this particular trick yet!
It is not that the disciples lack in their faith in every way – I mean they did leave their families behind to follow Jesus. There are two kinds of fear: 1) the kind that paralyzes you and prevents you from believing in Jesus, and 2) the kind that makes you confused as to what just happened and makes you think. The fear that paralyzes you keeps you from believing in God the Father and God the Son by keeping you in the dark. The fear that causes confusion allows you to believe in God and Jesus but challenges your faith. This type of fear is not a bad thing, especially when your faith grows stronger through the challenging time. Jesus seems to imply the disciples’ fear is paralyzing them from believing by their need for immediate help from the Lord, whether than trusting in him to keep them safe during the storm.
All things are possible in the Lord our God. A small boy can beat a giant in battle; Jesus can calm the storm; Michael Otto can beat the odds and become a big football star. The Lord makes all things possible, even when the odds are against us. If he wants it done, it will get done.
Thanks be to God!
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for being with us as we go about our day. Help us to call upon you and feel your presence when we are faced with a giant or a bad storm or some other trial of life. Remind us that you can make all things possible when we allow you into our hearts. Thank you for using us to do the impossible. Amen.
Thanks to the Triune God – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
Please answer the following reflective questions in the comments below. Please agree to disagree and be respectful to each other. (If you have not already done so, please also take a moment, to sign the comment covenant.) You can answer as many questions as you would like.
1. How has God used you to do the impossible?
2. How has a storm shaken your faith? How did you get through this experience?