Have you ever had the privilege to sit and listen to someone who seems to have been put through the worst kind of hell on this earth, but who turns it all into a beautiful display of praise for her King? Well, I did this morning, and the perspective it has given to me is indescribable.
Michelle and her precious family have been at our church for a few years now, but back in early 2007, her sweet boy, her only boy, had an accident with a gun which resulted in his going home to be with his Jesus. For reasons so far beyond my comprehension, God allowed Michelle to be the one to find her 12 year old son afterward.
I can't even begin to tell you of the pain that went through our church like a tidal wave. It was such a devastation and our hearts ached uncontrollably for these amazing people. I never really got to know Michelle, but the amount of times that she has been on my mind to the point of weeping have been countless (and I am far from the only one).
Today, she bravely....oh, so bravely....stood before a pretty largish group of women and took us through her journey thus far. She took us through the trying times before that day (which were some very serious trials in and of themselves), and how God brought her family to our church knowing that they would need the support of it later. She took us through the accident and the raw emotion...the intense pain, the guilt, and the deep depression that followed. But all along, you could see how the Father's loving hands were holding her. Even in the darkest places, He was holding her and gently guiding and molding her.
Then one day, at one of the worst points, she says she was "dragged by her hair" to a women's retreat by her friend, where she stayed locked up in her room for most of it. Finally her friend asked her to come down and pray over her because she was about to speak, so Michelle reluctantly did, and then kind of "had" to stay to listen to the next speaker.
But just like God, He reached down and met her at the bottom of her pit, because one thing is for sure, He never-ever leaves His children there.
She said that as she listened to the speaker teach about the account of David and Goliath, a story she had heard 65 million times before, God gave her a fresh understanding. She was able to picture, with clarity, the utter enormity of the giant that was before the young boy, David, as he bravely spoke these words:
"You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied...." 1 Samuel 17:45.
It was then and there that God spoke to Michelle and she realized that her Goliath was her depression and that God had given her the Rock of her faith to conquer it (she told us that she even carries around an actual rock so that she can be reminded).
She said that just as the Israelites ran scared of this giant, she was running scared of hers and allowing it to intimidate her because of it's massiveness. Then she challenged us to face our giants....to gather up our Rock and to stand boldly in faith because God has equipped us.
Which is why I am writing this all out, bloggy friends. Of course, I need to have this here for my own remembrance, but I also wanted to share this with you. Our Goliath's may not be as monumental as Michelle's have been, but they are real, and they can make us go bury our heads in the sand hoping that they will just go away. They won't. Even I can attest to that truth.
We have to be willing to step out in faith and BATTLE the things that the enemy wants to overtake us with....and the GREAT news is that we are already assured the victory. I hope you will chew on that for a little bit today.
Thanks, Michelle (even if you never read this), for your courage this morning. I can't even begin to tell you how it spoke to me...