Playing Through the Pain: Dressed for Battle

Day 3 of 5 • This day’s reading


Have you ever considered how committed the caterpillar must be to the growth process? Before they ever even enter into the cocoon, they choose to grow 'through’ their current state. Then, in their miraculous time of transformation, they become beautiful butterflies.

Transformation is inseparable from surrender. The degree to which we grow and transform is rooted, in the degree that our minds are prepared for the challenges we are faced with. Growth and transformation are both rooted in our mental preparation. You’ve got to establish the belief within yourself that what is behind you DOES NOT have the power to keep you stuck. You must allow yourself to release the previous season to move fully into the next one.

David ‘was' just a shepherd boy from Bethlehem…

I ‘was' just a preacher’s kid from Killeen, Texas…

Who ‘were' you?

I remember it like it was yesterday, walking through campus with my mother and father, exploring the University of Oklahoma campus right before beginning my freshman year of college. At that moment, I can hear my mother’s voice saying repeatedly to me, “Tommie, don’t mess this up.” And then hearing my father  eclipsed in amazement at OU’s immaculate architecture on campus, saying, “Man, these are some huge buildings!” Their reflections were a humble reminder of how far I had come and confirmed that they had done their part in preparing me for where I knew I wanted to be. I just chuckled and said softly to myself, “Yeah, … I am the first generation of something.”

I want to encourage you to remind yourself that you are not who you were. Your situation’s circumstances do not have to define who you can become or what you can achieve. ‘You are, and can continue to be in more ways than one, the first generation of something.

Let’s get back to David’s story.

After David had successfully delivered the food to his brothers and the gifts to their captain on the battlefield, he inquired of the men standing there, “What will a man get for killing this Philistine and ending his defiance of Israel? Who is this pagan Philistine anyway, that he is allowed to defy the armies of the living God?” (1 Samuel 17:26)

Two things happened when David engaged in this confident line of questioning. First, his oldest brother scolded him and told him to go home where he belonged. Second, and possibly only out of curiosity, King Saul summoned David to inquire about whether he was worthy to fight Goliath even though he, and his brothers in this case, believed that he was not worthy of such a colossal feat. 

Here, notice two things about your story: 

  1. The people who knew you back then, will likely limit your potential based on who they have always perceived you to be. 

  2. The people who are not meant to fight your battle will usually be the ones who tell you that you aren’t qualified for it either.

David persisted beyond the doubts of the haters. David remained faithful in the belief that he was worthy and qualified to take on this giant who stood as a threat to many in the Valley of Elah, defying the armies of the living God. He recounted for King Saul how he had protected his father’s sheep since he was young. There had been other bears, lions, and beasts of the field that he had chosen to fight and kill to protect his family’s flock.

So, Saul offered his armor to the young boy in an effort to clothe him with the physical covering he believed to be necessary to take on and defeat a giant of Goliath’s stature. King Saul was known for being head and shoulders taller than any man, and David was still just a boy (probably only 13 or 14 years old). Although David did not believe he needed Saul’s armor, he honored the King and tried it on to test its suitability and size.  As was to be expected, Saul’s armor did not fit. 

“I can’t go in these…” David must have said. There had been no armor in the field protecting his father’s sheep. So he took off the king’s armor and went without it.

Like the caterpillar who CHOOSES to grow ‘through', you and I must CHOOSE…

...Choose to grow through our crucial developmental periods to mentally prepare us for the battles ahead, knowing that once we face those battles, the only armor that will be suitable for the fight is the armor God has designed and equipped us to wear. 

Are you ready to grow through?