1 Samuel 17:40
Then he took his staff in his hand; and he chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag, in a pouch which he had, and his sling was in his hand. And he drew near to the Philistine.
I have spent my entire life in church. I’m not sure there is another story in the bible that gets more press than “David and Goliath.” Recently I was considering why David grabbed five stones. Rumor has it that Goliath actually had four brothers who were just as large. Several times I have heard preachers explain that David grabbed five stones because he was prepared for Goliath’s brothers to show up.
It’s fun to focus on David’s faith-filled view of his circumstances. A man who was so confident in his God that he was ready to take on five giants and fully expected to be victorious. He was a man who saw himself victorious before he went into battle.
My giant, the one I have been standing toe-to-toe against for the last several years, is teen parenting. I never imagined it would be so complicated. I’m nose deep into two books on the subject. I want so desperately to connect to my daughters in a meaningful way. I feel utterly unequal to the task before me. I believe in God’s promises for raising up our children in the way they should go, but that doesn’t alleviate my anxiety over the task.
I think I have a pretty good idea of what David was thinking when he went looking for rocks. It is one thing to point fingers at the giants in our lives and claim victory. It is another thing to actually step onto the battle field and face those giants. I think when David reached into the cold water of that brook, the reality of the situation hit him. I think David was hit with some fear and trepidation. David was afraid, but he was also in for the long haul. David picked up those extra stones because he was willing to stay out there as long as he could even if it meant his death.
This Sunday morning I start teaching a parenting Sunday school class. I certainly don’t have all the answers. I will be learning right along with everyone brave enough to hang out with me for forty-five minutes.
What I do know is this:
No matter how hard it gets. No matter how confused I get. No matter how challenging these teen years get. I’m in this for the long haul, and nothing but death can pull me away from my family.