Spent, daring greatly ∙
I didn’t shrink from declaring all that God wants you to know. – Acts 20:27
1 Samuel 17:23-58
23 Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, came out from the Philistine ranks. Then David heard him shout his usual taunt to the army of Israel.
24 As soon as the Israelite army saw him, they began to run away in fright.
26 David asked the soldiers standing nearby, who is this pagan Philistine anyway, that he is allowed to defy the armies of the living God?”
31 Then, David’s question was reported to King Saul, and the king sent for him.
32 “Don’t worry about this Philistine,” David told Saul. “I’ll go fight him!”
33 “Don’t be ridiculous!” Saul replied. “There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You’re only a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth.”
37 The LORD who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!” Saul finally consented. “All right, go ahead,” he said. “And may the LORD be with you!”
41 Goliath walked out toward David with his shield bearer ahead of him,
42 sneering in contempt at this ruddy-faced boy.
43 “Am I a dog,” he roared at David, “that you come at me with a stick?” And he cursed David by the names of his gods.
45 David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies– the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.
47 This is the LORD’s battle, and he will give you to us!”
48 As Goliath moved closer to attack, David quickly ran out to meet him.
49 Reaching into his shepherd’s bag and taking out a stone, he hurled it with his sling and hit the Philistine in the forehead. The stone sank in, and Goliath stumbled and fell face down on the ground.
50 So David triumphed over the Philistine with only a sling and a stone, for he had no sword.
Theodore Roosevelt, no stranger to criticism or boldness, wrote: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.”
“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause.”
“Who at the best knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Too many of us do not want to get involved. We tend to hold back and wait on the sidelines, watching life go by. We do not error by trying and failing; we error by not trying at all. The Word of God recounts the stories of average people accomplishing great deeds with the Father’s help. Courage is an inner dynamic available to all people who possess Biblical faith.
It is not what you have that matters; instead, what matters is that the Father has you. In our struggle, we are never alone. Our good Shepherd is always with us, watching over us. He is at hand to care for us and carry us when necessary.
I am like the sheep that strays from the rest of the flock. Unless the Good Shepherd takes me on His shoulders and carries me back to His fold, my steps will falter, and in the very effort of rising, my feet will give way (St. Jerome).
REFLECT & PRAY
Instead of being critical of those who do, do!
Father give me the wisdom to know when to act and the courage to do so.
Courage takes many forms. Sometimes courage advances boldly. At other times, the courage is to show up and remain constant and unswerving.
Courage is the quality of mind or spirit, mental or moral strength that enables a person to face and persevere difficulty, danger, pain, uncertainty, or intimidation without fear. Spiritual or moral courage is the ability to act rightly in the face of widespread opposition, shame, scandal, discouragement, or personal loss (Richard Zinbarg, Ph.D., Psychology Today).
Father, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference (Niebuhr).
The Scriptures are replete with stories of courageous people who did extraordinary things as they were encouraged and powered by the Father.
55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed steadily into heaven and saw the glory of God, and he saw Jesus standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand.
56 And he told them, “Look, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand!”
59 As they stoned him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”
60 He fell to his knees, shouting, “Lord, don’t charge them with this sin!” And with that, he died.
1 John 2:28 And now, dear children, remain in fellowship with Christ so that when he returns, you will be full of courage and not shrink back from him in shame.
Revelation 3:2 Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die.
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing (Edmund Burke).
© Dr. H 2022