The story of David and Goliath

By Fr. Roy Cimagala

THIS story (cfr. 1 Samuel 17,32-33.37.40-51) simply tells us one important lesson: that as long as we carry out our struggles with God, no earthly obstacle, challenge or trial can really put us down, no matter how formidable they are and how weak we may appear before them.

The youthful David with a sling only as his weapon managed to defeat the vaunted warrior Goliath because God was with him. May this story reassure us that as long as we are doing God’s will and ways, our victory is guaranteed, even if that victory may be in a form that is not in accord with our desires.

We have to learn how to deal with the difficult and the impossible things in our life. Let’s remember that as long as we are here on earth, we have to contend with all sorts of difficulties, trials and temptations.

And as if these are not enough, we also have to contend with the truth of our faith that tells us that we are meant to pursue a supernatural goal that definitely cannot be achieved simply with our own human powers, no matter how excellent they are.

The secret is always to go and to be with God who can make the impossible possible. In all our affairs and situations in life, we should always go to God to ask for his help and guidance, and to trust his ways and his providence, even if the outcome of our prayers and petitions appears unanswered, if not, contradicted.

This should be the attitude to have. It’s an attitude that can only indicate our unconditional faith, trust and love for God who is always in control of things, and at the same time can also leave us in peace and joy even at the worst of the possibilities.

Remember the Book of Ecclesiastes where it says that for everything there is a season, “a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal…” But everything is under God’s control, and even if we are capable of eternity, we just the same “cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.” (3,1ff) We just have to trust him.

We have to follow the example of the many characters in the gospel who, feeling helpless in the many predicaments they were in, earnestly rushed to Christ for some succor. They went to him unafraid and unashamed and they got what they wanted.

There is no denying that life always has more to offer to us than what we can understand, let alone, cope. And they can come in all shapes and sizes, good and bad, pleasant and unpleasant, likeable and hateful. There are surprises and moments when we seem to rot in expectation and still things we long for don’t come.

In the face of all this, I believe the attitude to have and the reaction to make is to be calm, pray hard, and while we do all we can, we have to learn to live a certain sense of abandonment in the hands of God.

We just have to remember that Christ never abandons us and is, in fact, all ready and prompt to come to our aid, albeit in ways that we may not realize, at first.