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  • Dustin Ellis


Updated: Dec 10, 2020

One of my favorite bible stories is David and Goliath. I know that it probably makes everyone’s top ten list and it is a classic underdog story, where very literally the little guy takes on the big guy and comes out on top. But I remember re-reading that story in my 20’s, and almost skimming over it. After all this was a story that I had been taught to recite since my early days in Sunday school, as I colored a picture of the tiny shepherd David squaring off against the towering giant, or glued macaroni noodles to a dotted outline of a boy bent over selecting 5 smooth stones from a brook.

As I read the familiar story I noticed that David had his “lion and bear moments with God”…David didn’t see himself as the underdog. For the first time, I didn’t see a boy walking out to face insurmountable odds, just hoping that God would do something. I saw a boy who knew his history with God. Sure he was facing a Giant, but he also remembered the time that he was taking care of his flock and a bear showed up, and how God was with him then, and that he killed the bear. And another time when he was out with his sheep and a lion came, and again he killed the lion….with his hands. You see, a kid with a history like that might not be exactly worry free when facing an 11-foot-tall Philistine warrior, but he also wouldn’t be in despair either. I don’t know about you, but If I had previously killed a lion and a bear, and a giant showed up…I might be like “Sure God. why not…why not a giant?”

In our marriages I know that we face giants, but I think that we have lion and bear moments too. We have our history with God. We have evidence of God working our relationships, and proof that he is with us when we are staring down the giant. The problem is, there isn’t much better at making us forget our history with God than facing a giant. There is something about those scary moments that disarm us of our courage and that rob us of the knowledge of what God can do in even the hardest situations. I have often thought, “How did David remember what God had done when it all hit the fan and he was staring down Goliath? How did he manage to keep from panicking?” It dawned on me, this wasn’t the first time he remembered the lion and the bear. I am certain that he had told that story before. I am sure he told it the day of... to other shepherds, his brothers, his parents. I bet everyone knew that story. I bet on cold nights around the campfire, David would retell the story about how he faced down a lion and a bear and how God was faithful.

How well do you know your story? Have you shared your marriages’ lion and bear moments with others? When is the last time you retold the story of how God healed your spouse? Or how God was so good to your children as he brought them through a miserable year in school? Because that is your evidence, and those stories are the reminders that God is faithful and powerful to work in our spouses and in ourselves when the problems seems too big.

David had his lion and his bear moments. His faith wasn’t baseless. He wasn’t haphazardly walking out to face a giant. He knew what God could do. He had evidence. We have evidence too. What is yours? What part of your marriage story speaks of God’s working? When did you and your spouse face a bear, a lion and God came through? You need to know those stories, you need to be telling them to others, you need to retell them to your spouse so you will remember them the next time you face a giant in your marriage. So you will remember what God can do and know that even in the most trying of circumstances, you are not the underdog in the story.

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