Skip to main content

Comfortable in my own skin

True confessions this morning - I spent a great deal of my youth and young adult life trying to 'fit in'. Have you ever tried to "fit into" some other person's image of you? I wasn't comfortable in my own skin - trying to always be something that I just wasn't. Do you know how miserable you can be when you try to 'fit' and you just 'don't'? You allow the "remake" because you figure you need an improvement on what it is you already have. What you and I fail to recognize is that you usually "fit" pretty well because you are exactly how God made you! Jeans and comfortable shoes are who I am - not frilly, painted, and bound up! David, a young shepherd boy, planned to go out against Goliath with nothing more than outfitted as a "shepherd". King Saul tried to "outfit David as a soldier in armor". David couldn't even move in the stuff King Saul tried to 'put on him'! He could barely take a step forward, much less maneuver well in battle! Sometimes this is how we feel when we are told to "outfit" ourselves with something other than who and what we are - for there is no freedom of movement when we aren't true to ourselves!

Then David took his shepherd’s staff, selected five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in the pocket of his shepherd’s pack, and with his sling in his hand approached Goliath. (I Samuel 17:4

David had learned a great deal on the backside of the pasture lands as he tended the sheep. They included slaying lions and bears - not for sport, but because they were trying to steal one of his sheep. Isn't this exactly what is happening when Goliath stood there taunting Israel - he was "attacking" the sheep! David knew if he was to face this giant with any chance at successfully defeating him, it would have to be by the methods he had used in the past - for those obstacles he had overcome became the foundation of his faith in this moment - they were 'proven'. David had every weapon available to him that was used by the armies of the day. He chose his own "outfitting". The shepherd's staff, his familiar cloak belted closely around his waist, and his small leather pouch and the leather sling. It seemed meagerly in the eyes of all who saw him approach the giant that day. Isn't this just the way it is when others see us face our giants with what it is God has made us familiar with? They don't know the usefulness of the "tools" we have been given, nor do they know the "skill" required in their use. No wonder they doubt their ability in the hands of one familiar with their use!

I wondered why David took five small stones that day from among those lining the floor of the tiny brook. Why five? Why not one? After all, wasn't David a man of faith, operating under the anointing of God? This may not be biblical or theologically sound, but allow me some latitude here, will you? Think about what David may have been saying to himself and to us as he selected each and every one of those well-worn stones. As he placed the first one, the second, the third - he may have been saying something like this:

Stone 1: F - Father, into your hands I commit my ways
Stone 2: A - All I have learned at your feet I commit to you today
Stone 3: I - Increase what your servant lacks
Stone 4: T - Thank you for always being faithful to your servant
Stone 5: H - Hold me close to your heart as I face this giant

He only needed one, but which one of these stones did he NOT need as he was preparing to face the giant? He needed all five! He had to place himself securely into the Father's hands, taking upon himself all he had previously been taught, calling upon the amazing power of God to make up for what he lacked, gratefully acknowledging the faithfulness of his protector, and knowing without a doubt the most secure place was within hearing distance of the heartbeat of God. One stone felled the giant. Five stones steadied the heart of the "warrior". He was "outfitted" well and so are we - we just need to learn to feel comfortable in our own skin. Just sayin!


Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

A brilliant display indeed

Love from the center of who you are ; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply ; practice playing second fiddle. Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. (Romans 12:9-12) Integrity and Intensity don't seem to fit together all that well, but they are uniquely interwoven traits which actually complement each other. "Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it." God asks for us to have some intensity (fervor) in how we love (from the center of who we are), but he also expects us to have integrity in our love as he asks us to be real in our love (don't fake it). They are indeed integral to each other. At first, we may only think of integrity as honesty - some adherence to a moral code within. I believe there is a little more to integrity than meets the eye. In the most literal sense,

Do me a favor

If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care—then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. (Philippians 2:1-4) Has God's love made ANY difference in your life? What is that difference? Most of us will likely say that our lives were changed for the good, while others will say there was a dramatic change. Some left behind lifestyles marked by all manner of outward sin - like drug addiction, alcoholism, prostitution, or even thievery. There are many that will admit the things they left behind were just a bit subtler - what we can call inward sin - things like jealousy,