They Still Slay Giants

by Wess Stafford

The imposing giant stood alone on the dusty battlefield, taunting the rows of muscled and armored Israeli soldiers who lined the other side of the valley. With a backdrop of fellow Philistines behind him, he roared:  "I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together"  (1 Sam.17:10).

For 40 days the challenge came—but not one man dared to step foot on the battlefield to face Goliath. Then along came a shepherd boy.

Isn't it amazing how God uses children? I find it remarkable how often God uses a child to do what no adult will. In the words of the late comedian Rodney Dangerfield, young David "got no respect." His brothers mocked him. His own father saw little worth in him. Yet God saw a giant-slayer. God used David to do what no grown man was willing or perhaps able to do. I can imagine David, courageous and unshaken, walking out onto the battlefield to face Goliath.

That's right—unshaken. Many people might picture a quaking, fearful David standing in awe of the behemoth who taunted him. I don't think so. I imagine David full of confidence as he approached Goliath. Not just confidence in himself but confidence in his God. Somehow, I believe, he knew God had been preparing him for that day. He was good with a sling. I don't believe he grabbed four more stones from the brook because he lacked faith in his ability. I believe David grabbed the extra stones because they were available!

I grew up in a tiny village in West Africa. My parents were missionaries. Virtually every kid in my village was a slingshot virtuoso. We prided ourselves on driving baboons out of the cornfields, herding cattle, and killing poisonous snakes. Nearly every evening we dragged "supper" home to the village. When you live and die by the sling as we did, you're always walking around with one eye on the ground looking for the next perfect stone. No, David only needed one stone to achieve his purpose. I think he just couldn't pass up four more good slinging stones. God needed a hero. He looked to a child.

Yet how many times do we allow our children to use their God-given talents to His glory? No, your child may not be able to pick off a giant with nothing more than a strip of leather and a stone but there are plenty of things he or she can already do to serve the Lord. I've seen children lead fundraisers to help pay for another child's life-saving surgery. I've watched six-year-olds lead their parents to Christ. Kids have an amazing ability to speak and act boldly in areas where we grownups fear to venture. Yes, young boys and girls are still slaying giants today.

The Bible is filled with instances where God not only used a child, He needed a child. He needed the amazing innocence, the faith, the courage, the generosity or, yes, even the wisdom of a child. Remember Miriam? She was Moses' sister. She carefully watched over her brother's reed crib as it floated down the river. When she saw Pharaoh's daughter reach for her baby brother, Miriam was quick on her feet: "Shall I go and call a nurse for you from the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for you?" (Ex. 2:7).

How sharp young Miriam was! She paved the way for Moses to be raised by his own mother, while having direct contact with Pharaoh. It was a plan that would years later allow Moses to lead thousands out of slavery from Egyptand it was an idea that God planted in the mind of a faithful child.

If we allow children to share their thoughts, their ideas, everyone wins. It nurtures a strong sense of worth in that child that may help him or her someday become a fulfilled leader. Miriam grew up to be a trusted advisor to her brother Moses. How many leaders today are able to share their visions with the world because someone valued their opinions as children? I have no doubt that God is still planting nuggets of wisdom in children today.

Perhaps one of the best examples of a child's heart comes from the story of the young boy who provided the bread and fish that eventually fed 5,000 on a hill where Jesus taught. Yes, Jesus performed the miracle but the boy had no guarantee of that. What must that young man have been thinking when he offered up his lunch? He didn't know Jesus would multiply it. Perhaps this teacher would just feed what few He could. Maybe Jesus would just give it to His disciples. Without knowing what the Lord would do with the food, the boy offered it up. How many adults would have done the same?

If we allow children to give, we give them worth and help them take their place in the Kingdom of God. Allow a child to contribute and you not only benefit from the contribution but the child benefits from being valued for that contribution. Volunteer at your local food shelter and take a child with you. The experience will be rewarding for both of you, trust me. Instill giving in a young child's life and you may launch a lifetime of giving and Christian service. How many lives will be touched because you taught a child to give graciously?

I have often wondered what happened to some of the children mentioned in the Bible. I wonder how many times he told the story about the day he watched Jesus turn five loaves and two fish into more food than even 5,000 could eat? I'm sure his life was changed and that young man grew up to change other lives.

In Ecuador recently, two young boys at one of our Compassion projects were hit by a large truck while crossing the street. One boy survived, though his broken body will take months to heal. His younger brother, only six, was killed. Compassion's South Korean board of directors was in the country at the time, visiting projects. They decided to alter their schedule to attend the little boy's funeral. The day before the service, the pastor apologized to the group, saying, "I know you want to meet the children but in our culture, children do not generally attend funerals, especially tragic ones like this." The South Korean group understood and chose to attend the funeral anyway.

The next morning when the group arrived at the little church, the sanctuary was filled to capacity. To their surprise, some 60 of the mourners sitting on the coarse wooden benches were children. The pastor just shrugged his shoulders; he had no explanation for why so many children had shown up for the funeral. The staff members began asking the children why they had come. Child after child replied, "He is the one who told me of Jesus' love. He helped me invite Jesus into my heart." This little Ecuadorian child had led over 50 of his friends to Jesus! He had accomplished so much for the Kingdom by the tender age of six!

We have an amazing resource available at our fingertips today—children. God uses them strategically throughout Scripture and He still uses them today. Little boys and girls are slaying giants on battlefields where we dare not tread. Yet they boldly stride into the war zone, unshaken, and defeat the enemy without hesitation. Spend some time listening to a child today. Let him contribute. Let her share her wisdom. We all just might learn something.

Reprinted from Too Small to Ignore. Copyright © 2005 by Compassion International, Inc. Used by permission of WaterBrook Press, Colorado Springs, CO. All rights reserved.

  For more information about the author or to order the book, visit www.toosmalltoignore.com. For more information on Compassion International or child advocacy, please call 1 (800) 336-7676, or visit www.compassion.com

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