1 Samuel 17:40 (KJV) And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling [was] in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine.
When Ian was 5-6 months old his eyes began to cross. The crossing was so bad, doctors said it would require surgery to try to correct them. Oh how we dreaded that day. We had to wait until he was over a year old to undergo anesthesia. We’d already been through eye patches, numerous doctor visits, and second opinions. We had prayed fervently against eye surgery, but through a series of events, God even brought confirmation that we were doing the right thing by surgery.
In the wee hours of the night before Ian’s surgery, I wondered why we were going through this when I knew God could just heal his eyes. That’s when I heard the Holy Spirit say it was a smooth stone. So I thought about it. Prior to David facing Goliath, David went and picked up 5 smooth stones to put in his bag. David previously slew a lion and a bear, which gave him the confidence to face the giant. From his previous experiences, he gathered what he knew he’d need for battle: a satchel of stones. I believe those stones represent the very things we need before battle: faith, trust in God, prayer, and confirmation from His word.
If Ian’s eyes had remained straight, or if God had miraculously healed them, we would never have had to face this battle. Our faith wouldn’t have grown. We wouldn’t have had to trust God to protect our son. We wouldn’t have been fervently praying, and we wouldn’t have needed God’s confirmation.
I also loved how this reference to David aligned to something else I believe the Holy Spirit spoke to me soon after JW came back home. He told me there would be other battles in the future. I thought standing for my marriage was the equivalent of facing a giant. At first I was distraught to discover it to only be the first of a series in my life. But again, the Comforter spoke and gently explained that it was the lion or bear that was the toughest battle, because it was first. By the time David faced Goliath, he knew what God could do through him, because he’d experienced it multiple times before!
No battle will ever be easy, for then it wouldn’t be a battle, but we are promised that God goes with us; He fights for us; & they are His battles. We, meanwhile, pick up what we need to face these battles: God’s armor (Ephesians 6), God’s Word, & smooth stones…
We still have a long road to travel to straighten Ian’s eyes. He made it through surgery well, but has needed glasses since he was 18 months old. The doctor has mentioned more patches and the possibility of more surgery, but I believe God goes before us and will lead us in the way in which we should go.
Isaiah 30:21 (KJV) And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This [is] the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.