The Word of God

Take Aim

businesswoman with bow and arrow aiming at bullseye target

I have always been intrigued by the phrase that’s been circulating for twenty years or so when describing the nagging and annoying presence of negative voices in life. Some say that we should avoid “renting space in our heads” to such folk.

There is so much wisdom in that.

The truth is that there are areas in all of us, deep recesses as it were, that hid the hidden feelings of inadequacy and shame and even guilt. Perhaps it is a good idea to start thinking of these deep personal challenges as “giants.” People who know me know all too well that I have been encountering and fighting giants for the best part of my adult life. Only recently have I figured out that the biggest challenge is internal, not external. Good Lord! If I had only figured that out twenty years ago!

Who among us doesn’t remember our first hearing about the momentous encounter of David and Goliath? No doubt, this famous unequal fight and unsuspected victory of young David has taken all kinds of different nuances and meanings as we have lived the years we have been given: “You come against me with sword and spear and scimitar, but I come against you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel that you have insulted. Today the LORD shall deliver you into my hand.” And with one swift and precisely aimed shot, the outmuscled, overpowered and seemingly least likely winner in the fight won a sound victory. The Lord was with David that day. And the Lord was with the disfigured and probably foredoomed man in the Gospel: “Jesus said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He stretched it out and his hand was restored.”

I believe that the image of facing the Goliaths of our lives comes at every age for very different reasons. Furthermore, quality of those encounters directly determines and impacts the quality of our lives not only at that moment, but all other moments that follow. If we ran from one fight, we are probably still running! 

There is something very real and applicable here today for you and me: our giants are everywhere, seemingly. These may be insurmountable problems and unexpected issues. This could be fear, or anxiety or some other great and personal vexing struggle. What can we learn today from David in 1 Samuel 17 and the Lord Jesus? First, let us admit that we all have giants: hardships, seemingly unbeatable obstacles, problems, and temptations. Then, let us realize that the battle belongs to the Lord as David bravely told Goliath, “For the battle is the LORD’s and he shall deliver you into our hands.” And finally, we cannot, nor should not, run from our giants or even attempt to negotiate with an enemy that seeks only to destroy us if not defeated. David faced Goliath, and as the enemy got close, David ran towards him: “The Philistine then moved to meet David at close quarters, while David ran quickly toward the battle line in the direction of the Philistine.” 

I remember what Winston Churchill once said in the darkest days of Britain: “You cannot reason with a tiger when your head is in its mouth.” The lesson from this is undeniable. We must know our giants and know ourselves. To be unrealistic with either element spells certain disaster.

This is precisely why the Sabbath is given to us to renew and resurrect our trust in the Lord for His power and strength to meet our Goliaths as Jesus reminded the Pharisees in the Gospel today: “Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?”  

Our readers will most likely be surprised to learn that many of the Goliaths in our lives are within us. They are those things which we fear, stress, and panic about, most things, as Mark Twain so brilliantly pointed out, never happen. If this is true, and I believe it is, let me wish you all courage. Let me wish you joy in the battle and on the battlefield with those you love and with those who love us. We are all staring at the giants in front of us. But we are also holding on tight to our veritable stones of God’s promise. And with that we pray every day for good aim.

“I asked God for strength, that I might achieve. 
I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey.

I asked for health, that I might do greater things. 
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.

I asked for riches, that I might be happy.
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.

I asked for power, that I might have the praise of all. 
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.

I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life.
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.

I got nothing that I asked for, 
but everything I had hoped for.

Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered. 
I am, among all people, most richly blessed.”

(Paper with poem found on the body of an unknown soldier in the 19th Century)

Share your thoughts (16 thoughts)

16 thoughts on “Take Aim”

  • Julie Trevino says:

    In September of 2016 I was faced with the biggest giant I had ever encountered. It was something I never imagined would happen. I don’t know if it was because of jealousy or what. I say, or what because my husband and I are not rich, we buy used cars…we try to live a humble life and try to live by God’s Words. So I have no idea where this came from. At first I was very angry and lashed out…that is not me! Weeks passed and I started to pray and pray. In my heart I forgave this person. He is not a person you can reason with so I haven’t spoken to him. To this day I pray for him daily. I am at peace in my heart but sometimes I still feel the hurt and sadness. This person has hurt a lot of people in his life. In prayer I heard God telling me that this happened because he needed prayers. God knew that I would pray for him but I had to suffer as well. God is always with us. Lord Jesus I trust in You!
    Please keep writing these beautiful stories. We need them.

    • Caro says:

      “Jealousy is a disease, love is a healthy condition. The immature mind often mistakes one for the other, or assumes that the greater the love, the greater the jealousy – in fact, they are almost incompatible; one emotion hardly leaves room for the other.” ― Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

      Welcome back, Julie, and thank you as always! The only real and effective way to respond to the pettiness and evil in this world is run to Jesus and beg for mercy for our own souls rather than lash out to those who cause us pain. It is truly the only way. Is it painful? Definitely. Is it difficult? Absolutely. But that is why Jesus was born and that is why He had to suffer and die… and that is why He lives in those who love Him.

      God bless you always, Julie. Read you next time.

  • E. Munoz says:

    I am a person of little words. I needed this. Thank you!

    • Caro says:

      I am grateful that these words could do something, however little, to increase your gratitude for the past and the courage for the future.

  • Deborah says:

    Thank you for another great article. I needed to read this today. Yes , I have faced many giants in my life but I’ve always turned to my lord. He has never left me. I know that I have made many mistakes in my life but I have forgiven myself . I know that God have forgiven me also because I’ve been blest with good health and family. We need to remember to say “Jesus I trust in you!”

    • Caro says:

      Absolutely wonderful and well said. The Lord never retreats from the battles that we give to Him. In His name is the Victory and for Him is the cause of our joy.

  • Patty Lichtenberger says:

    As I have said before, going through my cancer journey, I’m as happy as I have ever been and I truly see how blessed I am. Thank you for your beautiful words.

    • Caro says:

      Full disclaimer here: You are the inspiration of this piece. May your courage infect the rest of us and continue to inspire us to strive, to seek, to find, and never, ever to yield.

  • Veronica Leal Altamirano says:

    Another great article and reminder that half the battle is within us and we truly have the power to let go and let God! It’s real easy to focus on the “problem” and we go over and over it in our heads, taking up time, energy, emotions, etc. when we could give it all up to God. We are all guilty of this at some point in our lives. May we remember when we start allowing things to take away from our joy or peace that we can allow God to take over. Keep them coming and God bless you always!

    • Caro says:

      1. Don’t let another person’s anger make you feel bad
      In life, lots of people will get angry at you for no reason at all. At least no reason that has anything to do with you.
      2. Don’t let anyone’s negative words hurt you
      This ties in somewhat with the first tip. One of the number one joy stealing tactics people use is negative words.
      3. Don’t let anyone stop you from enjoying your life
      If it’s not anger or negative words, sometimes you have to deal with people who are consistently depressed or down about life. This can be a drain when you’re trying to focus on enjoying life.

  • Tony Montez says:

    Lately my Goliaths have been some of my historically trusted and cherished assumptions. I use to feel safe assuming we generally care about one another in our beloved nation. That we viewed one another with positive regard simply by virtue of our shared humanity. That we were a beacon of hope for the world. Instead, we kill children in their schools. Driven by fear, we hunt down and kill people in malls. We kill people attending a music concert, and we kill people in churches. All the while Goliath stands watch in glee, goading for more, and more join. Seething with displaced hatred of a phantom enemy created by Goliath‘s fantasies.

    I pray to God for the David’s of our land to confidently stand and defeat the Goliath’s. One assumption, of which I have no doubt, we are called to love one another, just as Jesus instructed, and so we contribute to the good in the world. This commandment is of the essence.

    • Caro says:

      Absolutely, Dr. Montez. The world is simply out of control. I read this lately and it caused me to pause: “Envy: Instead of focusing on your own goals, your goal becomes throwing off the rails other people’s goals and at the end of the day you gain nothing but a mischievous satisfaction that you have destroyed someone’s dream.” We must pray without ceasing, love like there is no tomorrow, and dream of a world that is kind and merciful.

      I will if you will.

  • Karen Diaz says:

    I have never really thought about nor heard the story of David/Goliath in that way. What an awesome way to look at my giants. I do have less of them than I use to as I have learned to rely on GOD more and turnover what seems like a mountain-and turns out to be a molehill. Thank you for a new outlook on life.

    • Caro says:

      Your Honor! Thanks for your comments. I certainly appreciated the reference to over-sized molehills. Perspective is always a great commodity! Thank you and God bless you always!

  • Dave says:

    Bam! What an incredible perspective on the inevitable giants in our life! God you are God and I am not! Jesus I trust in you!

    • Caro says:

      Thank you so much, old friend. The timeless reminder that we are not God can most certainly dispel the giants of delusion that plague so many. Thank you again.

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