Gift: Fortitude (Courage) – With the gift of courage, we overcome our fear and are willing to take risk as a follower of Jesus. A person with courage is willing to stand up for what is right in the sight of God, even if it means accepting rejection, verbal abuse, or even physical harm and death.
Reading: Then, staff in hand, David selected five smooth stones from the wadi and put them in the pocket of his shepherd’s bag. With his sling in hand, he approached the Philistine. David put his hand into the bag and took out a stone, hurled it with the sling, and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone embedded itself in his brow, and he fell on his face to the ground. (1 Samuel 17:40,49)
Observation: It is only after about a six-month absence of this story from my consciousness, that I am able to look at it with a new perspective. I have, however, been able to focus on the five smooth stones as they were presented to our youth during a youth conference in San Diego last summer. I imagine that although I have not consciously thought about all five of them every day since last summer, they have been in my sub-conscious as I awake every day to live out the faith that has been given to me by God:
1. Wake up on time.
2. Focus on Jesus.
3. Do something for someone without expecting a thank you.
4. Deny yourself something.
5. Act with gratitude.
Personification: Love In order to be able to love others like yourself, you must first love yourself. It is only by being disciplined in my devotions in the morning that I can keep myself from becoming the person that I find it difficult to love. If I find it difficult to love myself, than showing that love to others is going to be impossible, because there isn’t any love to model for me. It is my understanding that these five stones that David used to fill his shepherd’s bag before battle Goliath can mean different things to different people, but the important part of the story is not that there were five and what do they represent, but that David took the time to select them before battle.
Prayer: Lord, help me to carefully select my five smooth stones today and allow me the courage to battle whatever adversity that I may face today, with the knowledge that you are with me. I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit. Amen.