It’s been said that faith is believing in spite of the evidence, and watching the evidence change.  In the case of David facing the giant, Goliath, the evidence was overwhelming: a big, hairy, audacious giant with a bad attitude and an undefeated record, daring an entire nation to hit him with its best shot.  Not a single soul would rise to the occasion.  As Israel’s armies scattered in fear, it looked like the nation would be toasted and buttered by the Philistines.

But David – fresh from the fields of sheepherding and songwriting – spoke the one word of faith that proved more courageous than the actual deed that would later bring the giant down.  Standing in front the king and his armies, David proclaimed, “Let no one’s heart fail God because of this giant.  I will go and fight the Philistine.”  Some people laughed.  Others doubted.  But a few were filled with hope, because David pointed to God when most people could only see giants in their eyes.

What David was saying, of course, was that either God is, or God isn’t: either God really does will the very best for us, or God doesn’t; either God stands with us in the face of giants, or God does not.  For David, there was no “almost-faith.”  Despite being the most unlikely giant-slayer, David was willing to act as if all that he believed about God were actually true, as if what he believed actually mattered.

What brought Goliath down was not merely a smooth river stone slung from David’s sling.  What brought Goliath down was a faith that was determined, at all costs, to not fail God’s heart with hopelessness and despair, but to act as if everything he had known about God was so and true.

“Let this be the first rule of your undertakings,” said St. Ignatius: “Confide in God as if the success of those undertakings depended completely upon you and not at all upon God; nonetheless give your whole self to the undertakings as if you yourself would be doing nothing in them but God alone would be doing everything.”


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