I have just been reading the Bible story in the last part of 1 Samuel 13 and into chapter 14. The situation has the Israelite army surrounded by the Philistines. The Israelites were vastly outnumbered and without proper weapons. Many of the army had already deserted. Things must have looked pretty bleak.
But in the story, King Saul’s son, Jonathan, decided it was time to do something, believing that God would provide what was needed. So he and his armor bearer determined to approach the enemy stronghold, seeking a chance for something seemingly impossible to happen. His valiant effort led he and his servant to slay 20 of the overconfident Philistines. An earthquake shook the ground and panic set in on the Philistine troops who fled. The Israelite army took heart and chased the Philistines out of the region.
The story made me reflect on the lack of hope and confidence that I perceive is prevalent these days. It may be seen in small ways in families that are pressed by busy schedules and jobs that demand so much, or financial woes, or dysfunction in the home. It can be seen in the local congregation that sees its task of sharing the Good News of the Gospel as an overwhelming task for the Christians; and as unwelcome by non-Christians. It can be seen in a country that would like to have all the war over, not to mention all the political venom put away.
The natural tendency seems to be to shrink back into the background and let the tide wash us away. Have we lost the will to present ourselves for service to our neighbors, our church, our country in the hope that Divine Providence can and will use our service to make a difference? And perhaps inspire others around to rally to the possibility of victorious living?