The Head Of The Giant

So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. But there was no sword in the hand of David. 51 Therefore David ran and stood over the Philistine, took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it.  And when the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled. 52 Now the men of Israel and Judah arose and shouted, and pursued the Philistines as far as the entrance of the valley and to the gates of Ekron. And the wounded of the Philistines fell along the road to Shaaraim, even as far as Gath and Ekron. 53 Then the children of Israel returned from chasing the Philistines, and they plundered their tents. 54 And David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem, but he put his armor in his tent.  I Samuel 17:50-54

I think that many people wait too long to declare victory in their lives.  They want to wait until every problem is resolved, every hurt word corrected, every fine detail ironed out before they celebrate a win in their lives.   They may say that they are being "realists" about their situation but the problem is that total victory is rarely seen or experienced in our lives.  Much more often it is the overcoming of one obstacle on the way to another.   If victory is always something down the road that we are waiting for, the battle can become even bigger in our lives, and the tiredness of the fight can become overwhelming.    We can find ourselves continually waiting for our "breakthrough" or "big break" and missing the opportunities to celebrate.

At my last visit with the oncologist I was hoping that he would give me great birthday news and tell me that I did not need any further rounds of chemotherapy.    However, I was disappointed to hear him say that protocol called for a fourth round (of 5 days).   That day my wife said to me "what's five more days to cut off the head of this giant?"   It took a day or so for that to soak in but as I worked to push past the emotions I was feeling I began to repeat that statement in my mind.   After a couple of delays, as I finally began my last week I was so looking forward to the 5th day and being able to declare victory over my enemy.    

The above scripture reference is from the famous story of David & Goliath.   I love the emphasis made in this passage on the head of Goliath.  It says that the stone David threw killed the giant, but then says again that David killed him and took off his head.  If that wasn't enough these verses tell us that David took the head of Goliath all the way to Jerusalem!   The Israelites did win a great battle over the Philistines that day, but if you are familiar with the time period you know that was not the last time that they fought the Philistines, there were many more battles in their future.   That day, however, was a day worth celebrating, and the decapitated head of Goliath was the exclamation point.

I know that the end of chemotherapy does not mean that it is the end of my journey with cancer.    I will remain under the care of my oncologist for years to come and will have many doctor's visits, bloodwork, CT scans, etc. to make sure that the tumor doesn't rear it's ugly head again.   But... when I reached the 5th day of chemo, I had such a feeling of celebration come over me.  Pictures were taken and posted on Facebook & 200+ likes, 18 shares, and many comments later, people knew that it was a good day!!  A big "DONE" and "God is good" made it's way across the internet as some found out for the first time that I had been sick as I hadn't posted much on social media (besides my blog) through this journey.  In a virtual way I was holding up the head of my giant for the world to see!    That doesn't mean that I won't have to fight any more battles, but it means that by God's grace I've won this one and in the middle of the fight is still a good time to declare victory!

As you go through your journey in life, I encourage you to take time to declare and celebrate victory every chance you get.   Life is hard.  It's exhausting, disappointing, and at times devastating.   I have seen those I love walk through such hard places over the last year as they have lost people dear to them, encountered great struggles with their children, and fought with sickness of various kinds.  It's easy to become weary in the battle and be unable to see anything but the difficulty.    Don't be such a realist that you miss the chances to triumphantly raise the head of your giant even if you are fully aware that there are more battles to be fought. When your child makes the right choice, when you get positive news from a doctor, when you pay off a bill, celebrate victory.    I believe that the more that you declare victory the more you will experience it. This doesn't mean that the battle isn't real and the journey doesn't have more obstacles, it just means that your focus is not on the struggle, it's on overcoming.

As I raise the head of my giant through this blog I do want to say thank you to SO MANY who have prayed, supported, and shown such love to me at this time.   Even the fact that you are taking time to read this blog is so incredible to me.   I want to say that this victory I'm celebrating is OUR victory as you have walked through this journey with me.  The below picture was taken at the beginning of my chemotherapy treatment.  It's amazing to me how far God has brought me over the last 3 months.   I can't WAIT to be at church this coming Sunday so we can all rejoice together!    I'm so pleased to be able to celebrate all He has done and carry my giant's head back to Jerusalem for all the world to see!


John Thomlinson - July 16th, 2021 at 3:14am

Still with you in thought and prayer, Matthew. We rejoice in faith for your complete recovery. John and Sheila xx

Matthew Chapman - July 16th, 2021 at 9:25pm

Thank you so much John & Sheila. You are such a blessing!!

Elizabeth Lambert - July 16th, 2021 at 7:58am

Reading this last night and thoughts filled my mind as I pondered on every word. You are so spot on how we often put off celebrating our victories and become tired & weary which leads often to our defeat. Gods word is truth and when we pray believing it above all it brings peace & victory. Proverbs says His word is health and healing to All our flesh! We are overcomers more than conquerors because of Jesus finished work. My mind went to the number 5 ( Grace it represents ) 5 more days of Chemo / 5 stones David picked up ! So thankful for Giant Slayers ❤️

Matthew Chapman - July 16th, 2021 at 9:26pm

Thank you Sissy. Love you so much!!

Rethawilson - July 16th, 2021 at 9:29am


Matthew Chapman - July 16th, 2021 at 9:27pm

Amen! BTW that quote I believe comes from Nigeria where Christians experience great persecution. If they can say “God is good all the time…” then so can we!!

Tammie Fenner - July 16th, 2021 at 8:38pm

Matt, I’m so happy for you. Your blogs have been so uplifting. I know your battle has been heard but you’ve handled with such faith. Enjoy celebrating with your church family Sunday. 😁😊

Matthew Chapman - July 16th, 2021 at 9:28pm

Thank you Tammie! I hope to see you soon.

Allen/Janie Umbarger - July 16th, 2021 at 8:49pm

Love you, Matthew! Praying you will never need any more chemo!✝️ JESUS went into the tomb broken and bleeding for us, but HE came out fully restored for us!

Matthew Chapman - July 16th, 2021 at 9:28pm

Amen & thank you Allen & Janie. Love you both!!