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Slaying the Bear – Heroism for Real Teens

The Lord how delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of the Philistine. 1 Samuel 17:37

Forget the little kids version of David and Goliath where a cartoon character kills another cartoon character. No this was a real story. A teenager was able to kill the most fearsome warrior of his day. After killing him with one rock, he took Goliath’s own sword, cut through his neck, and held his head high for all to see. In one moment, David became a true national hero.

But lift this out of the cartoon storybook quality and into real life. Look at David, a teenage boy. Perhaps 15, 16 or 17. What gave David the confidence to put himself forward while the rest of the grown men in the prime of their life were scared? Teenage bravado? Foolishness?

No, David’s confidence in slaying a giant came because he was faithful in the little things of life. “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it, and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by the hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of the Philistine (1 Samuel 17:33-37).

David’s courage had been tested in the smaller places. Would he go after the lion or would he shrink back? Would he experience God in the unseen rescue of an unimportant sheep? The answer was yes. He would be faithful in the little things. He was careful to guard the area God had given him.

But this is an important fact. Since we read the story backwards, we know the Lord was preparing him for this big day. But in the midst of the trial with the bear or lion, he did not know why! It was only faith that said to David to be faithful in the little things.

You may be in the midst of wrestling a bear right now. You may be discouraged. “Why bother?” you say to yourself. “Does God really see?”

David was ready to slay Goliath because he was faithful in the hidden times.

What is your bear? Be faithful in the little things and God can entrust you with bigger things. The little and ordinary are preparation for the bigger and extraordinary.

And for us as parents, our job is to help connect faithfulness in the trial our child is going through now with what God may want to do through them in the future.

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