“I just don’t like being around people,” I heard her say. “I prefer to be alone.”
It took those words a moment to penetrate the walls of my heart. At first, I was shocked. Why would she admit to not liking people? Then I remembered I’d been in that same place. I realized how much she and I had in common.
I never considered myself a loner. Working as a teacher, serving in ministry, I’ve always been surrounded by people. But when I heard this sentiment shared from a friend, it opened up something in me that I’d buried deep down. A place born from hurt and betrayal. A place I wanted to forget. And shutting people out helped me do just that - forget.
When I walked through my daily routine at work, church, or even running errands, I put on a smile. I acted joyful. And honestly, I felt like a fake, because the feelings I held inside told an entirely different story.
I’d fallen into a pattern of hiding the truth of my heartache, and I’m not sure why. Maybe because I didn’t want to burden others with my real feelings. Maybe I wanted to make sure I was ‘exuding joy’ and not the opposite. Or maybe, I wanted to avoid conversations that would dredge up unwanted memories.
With this young lady’s words, God spoke a powerful truth into my life. One I desperately needed.
Remember the story of David and Goliath? Little David took down that big bad giant with 5 small stones. He became the hero. And he did it alone.
Or so I thought.
You see, the story didn’t end when David marched back to Saul victorious. There were more giants, and giants don’t give up easily.
“And after this there arose war with the Philistines at Gezer. Then Sibbecai the Hushathite struck down Sippai, who was one of the descendants of the giants, and the Philistines were subdued. And there was again war with the Philistines, and Elhanan the son of Jair struck down Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver's beam. And there was again war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature, who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number, and he also was descended from the giants. And when he taunted Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimea, David's brother, struck him down. These were descended from the giants in Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.” 1 Chronicles 20:4-8 ESV
In the passage above, we get a picture of David’s kingdom several years later, after he became king. War with the Philistines surfaced again, and these giants seemed just as intimidating as Goliath.
Scripture says one of them “taunted Israel.” Sound familiar? It should, because that’s what Goliath did that made David what to shut the giant’s mouth - permanently. And this time, David had help.
David surrounded himself with warriors willing to kill some giants on his behalf. That’s what we need to do, too.
“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NLT
There will be times when we face hurt at the hands of others. Sometimes from those we considered friends, or even family.
There will be times we face situations where we can’t find a way out.
There will also be times when it seems like all hope is lost. When we want to hide away in a room somewhere in solitude.
That’s when we need to seek out the giant killers in our lives. Surround ourselves with warriors willing to go into battle when weariness takes hold.
God created us for community. He never intended for us to face our giants alone. But we need to get past the lie that tells us we shouldn’t let other people past the walls we’ve built.
We need each other.
Are you facing any giants in your life? Have you been tempted to avoid interaction with others and keep it all to yourself? Then let the story of David and his giant killers speak to your heart like it did mine. God has a group of warriors ready to fight for you!
Together let’s agree to seek out those people in our lives who will stand with us when we need help, when we need warriors to come alongside us. And in turn, we can be faithful warriors as well.
For more devotions about community, check out this post, When Comparison Threatened to Steal My Community.