Saturday, June 22, 2013

Yoo-Hoo! Oh, Armies! Where Are You?

Seriously. As we look at the manly men waiting in the wings behind David and Goliath, we have to wonder what they were doing. (This is 4th in my series. Please go back and read the previous 3 posts for the context for this one).

David, young Israelite who was not in the army, faces off against Goliath who was the star of the Philistine army. We know King Saul of the Israelites was with his army like all good kings were supposed to be during war. So, presumably, the Philistine king was also behind Goliath with his army. One side was counting on a young boy, who just happened to show up, for victory. The other side was counting on their giant to finally emerge king of the hill.

When we face life's obstacles and catastrophes, of any kind, often we feel like it's us against the world. We may have an "armor-bearer" like Goliath did to go with us, but we can wonder, "Where is everybody? Where are the legions of family and friends who are supposed to be by my side every step of the way giving me the support I want, need, and deserve, and do it my way?"

Like the respective armies behind David and Goliath, that's often where our armies are--behind us. They're there to yell encouragement and tell us to hang in there and fight. They're there watching us fight, waiting for us to give them something specific to do like "lend a helping hand, get us more ammunition and supplies, be there by our side, etc." And, let's be honest, depending on who they are and their actual relationship to us...they're thinking about their own lives and obstacles and things they have to do. Their sun doesn't rise and set on us. We aren't the only thing on their plate, and again, to be honest, they can think the same thing of us...where are we in their time of need? We all have people, jobs, things, we have to take care of and tend to. We just do. Even our faithful "armor-bearer" probably can't, literally, be by our side 24/7. For most people, that's an unreasonable expectation.

And I'm sure there will be people reading this who will get indignant and say, "Anytime anyone I know gets sick, I'm right there with chicken soup and I never leave their side. I'd do anything for anybody because that's just who I am. But let me get sick or in trouble and nobody shows up for me."

Don't get indignant. Just be honest. None of us are perfect members of every army. Even more, sometimes we can be someone's Goliath. We aren't always David. And we aren't always armor-bearers.

But, hold on! The story isn't over yet! Hope springs eternal!

David springs into action, Goliath goes down and is killed. God shows up...AND...so do the armies! The army that was fearful, namely the Israelite army, is suddenly encouraged and swinging swords in battle and bringing down more Philistines. United they stand and fight.

And the army that was so confident and smug, namely the Philistine army, is running for the hills, scared and being slaughtered. But because they are being attacked (THAT sure wasn't what they had planned!), they have to fight as they run. United they flee.

Sometimes we just don't have an army with us. Some of us will have great support no matter what our catastrophe looks like and some of us won't. Some of us will have to go out in search for support. Whatever your obstacle, illness, challenge, or catastrophe, know that you aren't alone as many also have similar mountains in their lives. Internet sites that have groups can be great places to connect with people, as can Facebook. There are pages and groups for everything imaginable! Just be wise and savvy. Surf smart.

Get vocal and ask specific people for specific help. Often people want to help but they don't know what you need. I have found, as a RULE, most people will do what is asked of them. If someone volunteers to do something, accept their offer if you can. But remember, be grateful not greedy.

And do what you can to be part of other people's support systems.

Whether we're on the front lines or bringing up the rear, we're in this life together. Every David facing Goliath needs to know there are people behind him, ready to rush to their aid even if they don't show up at first.

We will all be in the role of "David" at least once in life. We'll all be cast in the chorus far more often.

Think about that.

charis