23 January 2007
Have you heard about David and Goliath? It is about how a young shepherd, David, won a giant, Goliath, with his sling and a stone.
1 Samuel 17:48-50
As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.
So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.
We marvel at David’s bravery. We wonder about the fear inspiring Goliath. Is it just a story? Is it real? I revisited this familiar account during one of my devotions.
I learnt that David was a boy when he defeated Goliath.
1 Samuel 17:42
He looked David over and saw that he was only a boy, ruddy and handsome, and he despised him.
How old was he then? Anyone who knows, please tell me. Perhaps he was a teenager. Perhaps he was rash and did what he wanted. Perhaps he was going through a time of identity crisis. Look at David’s eldest brother’s response to his guts
1 Samuel 17: 26-28
David asked the men standing near him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”
They repeated to him what they had been saying and told him, “This is what will be done for the man who kills him.”
When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the desert? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.”
While the brother might have spoken unkindly, isn’t that our most natural response to a young lad’s strong will? Why would you want to court trouble? Go do what you are good at. As I think through all these, I begin to marvel at David’s faith and fearlessness. And this is really because he knows a Living God (v26).
I sensed that I have to face up to my Goliath as well. I am dreading the weekly chemo. It could be tiring. I don’t know how my body will react. Plus my doctor told me one of the side effects is weight gain. Alamak!! Why never tell me earlier? Now too late to control my weight already 😦 How will home routine be? How about meals? How should I schedule school time with John? Will my mom be stressed? How should hubby be relieved when he’s tired? I believe this is partly the reason why I was more tired after my chemo on 15 January other than the fact that my white blood count was lower that day.
How can I deal with my Goliath? My devotion gave me a few tips.
1. Take God’s Word over the opinion of others
Although Eliab was very discouraging, David was undaunted. He took God’s Word over the opinions of others. It was a timely reminder that I should go to God with all that I am and with all that I feel. He takes me for who I am and will give me peace and strength (Philippians 4:13).
2. Measure the size of your obstacle against the size of your God
We tend to measure our obstacles against our own strength. Yes, even before my next round of chemo, I’m already overwhelmed. But as David said, we belong to the ‘armies of the living God’. I need to make sure my yardstick is God.
3. Acknowledge an active and living God in your life
I must put my yardstick to work. I must remember that my God is able. I must stand in His Name. As I take that difficult first step forward, He would smoothen and straighten my paths for me.
When I released my burdens to the Lord, my fatigue was lifted off me. I was more able to manage things at home and also the children. I want to give thanks.
1. The friend who wanted to go with me called me the night before the chemo and told me she could not go with me. As I looked through my contacts list, I made my first call and God provided me a friend. She told me later on that just before my call, she had got the use of the car from her hubby. Usually she won’t have the car on Mondays.
2. When I went home, another friend came by to keep me company until hubby came home after a meeting in church. Coincidentally, these two friends share the same name, meaning angelic. They were really my angels that day.
3. The Singapore Cancer Society has approved a 50% subsidy for the Herceptin drug. I am so thankful that the application was processed so quickly and approval was granted before the drug is required.
4. The taking of blood was relatively quick and painless. The nurse who did the chemo was very experienced. She found my vein at the very first poke and it was also relatively painless. Surprisingly, I took it very well that day. My friend who loves to eat made sure I ate something after my chemo. My doctor also told me that for some cycles, I could request for a finger prick for the blood test. That’s comforting to know.
5. I have no nausea or vomiting. PTL!!!
6. I have no food cravings and I am eating more normally. My lung doctor said patients who respond well to the TB medication will usually put on about 2-3kg. I’m thankful that it’s not such a bad thing after all. Anyhow, better watch my weight from now.
7. Many more friends have come forward to tell me they want to go with me for my chemo sessions. No, I don’t need to have people who can drive to go with me. Yes, we can take cabs too. Thank you for being so thoughtful of my needs. I thank God for all these angels too.
8. I have finished my first round of chemo with the first drug. Yea!!!
9. There will be no more booster shots. Hurray!!!
10. Two very good friends came back from overseas and will stay in Singapore longer. I’m so thankful for their friendship, prayer and support especially at this time.
My next chemo will be on 9 February. It’ll take about two hours as new drugs will be involved. Pray that my heart will be strong as Herceptin could affect the heart. I will be going for a heart scan on 24 January.
I am choosing to look to my omnipotent God. That way, whether it’s one, ten or hundred Goliaths I will have no fear.
The battle is the Lord’s (1 Samuel 17:47).