Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Armor Doesn't Fit

The armor doesn't fit.

I didn't even intend to fight that day, but one should always be ready.  It's easy, too easy to forget that as long as we're breathing this simple air, the battle isn't truly over.

But this battle, this foe, it was different.  And as much as everyone loves the underdog, even I could see how unlikely a champion I was.


I'd always been overlooked.  I'd always been last.  I'd always been left behind.  I'd always been the smallest, the least important, the weakest.

But there's a blessing in being weak.

When I stepped forward to fight, that's when they brought the armor out.  I know they thought it would protect me, but it was more than that.  They wanted to hide me.  They wanted to hide all my weaknesses under the guise of the finest armor the kingdom had to offer.  And it was fine armor, indeed.  When I looked in the mirror, I barely recognized myself.  I didn't look much like an unimportant weakling.  I looked like a soldier, a warrior, someone who could fight battles in his own strength.

But it didn't fit.  The armor didn't fit.  I looked impressive, but I could hardly move.  When I attempted to appear to be something I wasn't, I only became clumsy and foolish.  I was wearing something that wasn't made for me. 

I was never meant to look that impressive.  I was never meant to be the obvious hero. 

That's because I wasn't the hero.

The armor didn't fit.

So I took it off. 

I didn't take a sword into battle.  I didn't take a spear.  My foe had both.  His weapons were as threatening as he was.  And I know that if my comrades weren't too busy shaking in fear, they would probably be laughing at me as I went to go face the giant.

 I took a sling.  I chose a few smooth stones from the stream.  I heard the whispers from my comrades and the taunts from my enemies.  A sling and a few stones?  Were those really the only weapons I was taking into battle?

That's all I was carrying, but that's not all I had.  I wasn't going into that battle alone.  God was there with me.  And I didn't need to look or act impressive.  All I had to do was be obedient.

I had gone down that day carrying a few sack lunches for my big brothers.  I never intended to slay a giant.  I was just being obedient to my Dad. 

Because even after the prophet came and anointed me with oil, telling me I'd be king someday, I never really saw myself as someone terribly important.  I remember how Dad had sent me to go watch the sheep while the prophet was examining my brothers.  He thought I'd never amount to anything more than a shepherd.

And that's okay, because out there in that pasture, I'd take my harp and sing songs to God.  And it was there that He came and sang over me in love.  His love for me never had to do with how strong or wise or important I am; it had to do with how wonderful He is.  If He loved me, if He was good, then what did I have to fear?  I didn't have to fear the bears or the lions that attacked as I watched over the sheep.  After the prophet came, I didn't have to fear the future when I knew I'd have a completely different kind of Flock to watch over.

And I didn't have to fear the giant. 

But it was never because of my own strength.  It was because I knew that if God was for me, no one could be against me.  He was, He is my strength, my worth. 

The world tried to put its armor on me--the armor that said I was big, that said I was important, that said I was strong and worthy.

But the armor didn't fit.

All I had was a sling.  Some stones.  A willing heart.  But that's not all I had.

God was, God is with me.

He's the One who makes the giants fall.

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