He was the youngest and newest one in his class. His outfit was big, but his resolve was huge.
Ryken has been taking taekwondo for a few months, and I’m amazed at the force of his focus. He observes everything the instructor does and watches her three assistants carefully. I envy the depth of his determination.
He’s a quick learner.
The first belt is white; it must be earned. The second is yellow., which Ryken was being tested for.
He’s the only white belt in his class. That has not deterred him at all. He practices every chance he has, and his confidence has risen quite a bit.
The testing happened before an audience of parents who were there to watch their children display their expertise and earn their next belt.
Ryken was the first to be tested.
I valued his resolve as he stood in the center of the room, alone, the rest of his class on the side and the parents all watching his every move. His concentration radiated from his face; he was given commands as to which moves to make, and he had to execute them well.
When he received his yellow belt, he barely cracked a smile.
Performing alone to the scrutiny of others can be daunting. Showing up to prove ourselves in any situation can be intimidating. Confidence isn’t something we pull out of a bag when needed. It’s feeling certain about the truth of something. A conviction based on truth.
History is full of times when the underdog persisted against the bully. Ukraine is doing that right now–freedom is their conviction and right.
The story of David and Goliath in the Bible is the best example of someone who defied the odds and won against a stronger enemy by the power of God.
Goliath was the Philistine champion. Over nine feet tall, his strength and power were feared by everyone who went up against him. Israel was battling for their lives, and no one wanted to fight this man. David, the youngest of eight sons, visited his older brothers to take them provisions while they fought in the army. Incensed at the disrespect this giant had for God’s army, he challenged the giant and confidently predicted his defeat.
“And everyone assembled here will KNOW that the Lord rescues His people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle, and He will give you to us.” 1 Samuel 17:47
David pulled out a stone, fitted it into his sling, and shot it at Goliath, who fell. David used Goliath’s own sword to cut his head off.
Confidence didn’t come from expertise or strength but from knowing God was with him, that God would fight David’s battles for him.
God continues to fight for His own, giving them strength and courage to deal with the challenges of life because He is always with those who know Him.
He doesn’t abandon us in the middle of chaos.
Ryken knew what was expected of him in his testing. He relied on what he’d learned.
We rarely know what will happen to us; life is a surprise that can take us off guard. We need Someone who knows us and is greater than our circumstances to help us deal with our battles.
God can supply us with confidence in His power that is greater than any test we’ll ever encounter.
The more we trust Him, the greater our confidence will grow.