Saturday, August 6, 2011

Story idea: Your "lions and bears"

David was only a boy.

Goliath was a champion among Philistine forces, standing over six feet tall.

He was muscular enough to strut around wearing a bronze helmet, a coat of armor weighing 125 pounds, bronze greaves on his legs, and a javelin strapped across his back. His spear shaft’s iron point alone weighed 15 pounds.

Goliath was an arrogant, defiant, loud, taunting bully.

He terrified King Saul and the Israelite armies. Their fear had incapacitated them for forty days by the time little David entered the scene.

When David said he’d fight Goliath, King Saul scoffed, “You can’t win against that giant! You’re only a boy!” (See 1 Samuel 17:33.)

But David didn’t give up easily. He explained that while herding his father’s sheep,

“When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, I go after it with a club and take the lamb from its mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death. I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too.… The Lord who saved me from the claws of the lion and the bear will save me from this Philistine!” (verses 34-37)

King Saul finally agreed to let David face Goliath, and you know the rest of the story.

But let’s back up a bit. Imagine what went through David’s head before and during his fights with the bears and lions.


“This is too hard!”

“Am I going to die? Save me, Lord! Make them go away!”

God could have made the bears and lions slink away, but He didn’t. Instead, He left them there and helped David fight—and win.

Later, when David faced Goliath, what did he think of the lions and bears then?

I suspect it was something like “Those lions and bears were easy compared to this!”

If God had not allowed David to fight the bears and lions, would he have been prepared to face Goliath? I don’t think so.

Those battles were opportunities for David to grow: phyically, mentally, and spiritually.

God used the bears and lions to prepare David for the future.

David remembered how God helped him in the past, and that gave him confident faith to face even bigger challenges.

Fighting lions and bears helped equip David to fulfill God's purposes for his generation (see Acts 13:36, one of my favorite verses).

Through the very process of fighting lions and bears, God strengthened David for even bigger challenges in the future.

What “lions and bears” has God allowed into your life? 

What did you learn about God in the midst of fighting your lions and bears? What did you learn about yourself?

Looking back now, in what specific ways did God use your lions and bears to deepen your faith and toughen you for an even bigger challenge—a “Goliath”?

What Goliaths have you faced since then?

Story idea: Write a vignette about God preparing, equipping, and strengthening you—through the process of fighting your lions and bears—to stand up to a Goliath, and win. 


  1. Great idea! Been a bit blank minded so need this kind of thing!

  2. Shanda, I'm glad you found some ideas! I'll share more story-generating ideas from time to time.

    Thanks again for your blog post about Grandma's Letters from Africa! You're a dear.

    I hope your Saturday is going well.


  3. Love this! I've got something written along these lines that just needs the scaffolding removed and a little more tweaking marry the spiritual testimony side of the piece. This inspires me to go back to that WIP.

  4. Hi, Carpe Vas, I'm glad you found inspiration in this blog post. My daily prayer is that God will use them to His good purposes.

    I will soon post about how to craft each vignette's ending -- right now I can't remember exactly which day. Maybe Saturday? Hope it helps!

    Thanks for stopping by. Have a lovely day.


  5. Linda, trusting God through times of preparation was the theme of our message on Sunday, only it was about Elijah during the time he was in hiding being fed by ravens. I could definitely relate to that! Concerning my ministry in Uganda, some people express regret that they can't see themselves ministering in that way. I always tell them to wait for God's timing. He may not be finished preparing them. I felt called to overseas ministry over 30 years ago, but now I see how important those years of preparation were in the process!

    Thanks for reading and commenting on my blog, concerning my ministry to Uganda. It is encouraging to hear from someone who has been there!

  6. Sharlyn, you are so correct about God's preparation and timing. He has the bigger picture in mind and knows just what He's doing in the process. Usually it's only much later that we look back and realize what He was doing, and why, and we just have to marvel at His ways. That's why the genre of memoir is so powerful, so perfect for telling God-stories.

    Bless you and your work in Uganda!