I was but a mere teenager on the day that I stared down that malevolent man intent on killing me. Gathering my courage, I meditated on the many times that I had been victorious over stronger, bigger beasts. This, I told myself, would be no different. I reached for my weapon, aimed and took my shot. I watched the projectile slice through the air on the way to its target as if in super slow motion. If I missed, it could be the end for me. When my adversary hit the ground, I finished him off with a swift decapitation.
I hope I have not offended you with such brutality but you must understand that my actions were necessary for reasons far beyond self-preservation. I believe that every battle I fought prior to that day was God's way of preparing me for this life-changing encounter. Indeed, my life would never be the same. It was this fateful day that set the wheels in motion for the rest of my extraordinary life -- a life that saw the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.
My capacity for combat had been refined throughout my adolescent years. I was made to work long hours, off on my own, where danger lurked around every corner. With God as my witness, I did whatever it took to keep my flock safe. An attack, an assault, a murder...whatever it took. I did these things with rudimentary weapons or with my bare hands. I did these things in the name of the Lord Almighty.
With seven older brothers, I had learned how to be a survivor at a very young age. I was never sure why some of them despised me the way that they did. I'm certain their contempt was further intensified on the day that Samuel came to visit our little town to select a new leader. No one seriously considered me for the esteemed position -- I suppose they thought I was too small, too young. Thankfully, Samuel's counselor advised him to look beyond outward appearances. As you've probably guessed, I got the appointment, which did not sit well with my eldest brothers.
In the midst of the drama, I clung tight to that which gave me the greatest joy on earth -- music and lyrics. My musical ability came quite naturally, a true gift from God some would say. In my prime, I spent much of my time playing for a troubled leader by the name of Saul.
It was Saul who was in charge on that fateful day when I killed the giant, malevolent man in the valley of Elah. Saul was most pleased with my allegiance and my steadfast bravery which continued into subsequent battles. Despite my loyalty and a cherished friendship with his son, Saul would eventually come to despise me, too. He would attempt to take my life on several occasions.
My teenage years were filled with such peaks and valleys. As it turned out, this was but a preview of things to come, for one day I would be a hunted man, an honored warrior, an acclaimed King, a grieving father and a repentant sinner.
God used my teenage trials to strengthen my faith and test my love, as He does with every boy and girl on their way to adulthood. The more I trusted in Him, the more he entrusted to me. My stunning victories were God's alone. I came against my enemies not in my own strength but in the name of the Lord. In return, I gained God's everlasting love. For the Lord attests that I, King David, was a man after His own heart.
Acts 13:22 (NIV) After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him: 'I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.'
Sherrie is a believer in Jesus Christ, a wife, a mother and a freelance writer. She resides with her family on the island of Oahu in Hawaii, where she was born and raised.