The Valiant Little Tailor


Faith of Our Fairy Tales #18 (Original story / photo)

Story Scripture: But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. – Jeremiah 17:7

Story Saying: If you’re presenting yourself with confidence, you can pull off pretty much anything. – Katy Perry

Behind the Story: Straight away, this fairy tale reminds me of the story of David in the Bible. With his bare hands and a small stone, David killed a lion, a bear, and the giant Goliath. With a shrewd mind and quick thinking, the little tailor outsmarted an entire gang of giants, caused two more giants to kill themselves, and caught a wild unicorn and a wild boar. After being asked to perform a number of seemingly impossible feats, both David and the little tailor married king’s daughters. By escaping through a window, David avoided being murdered by King Saul’s men. By pretending to be asleep, the little tailor avoided being murdered by the king’s servants.

But before we get into the unabashed confidence and bravery of the little tailor, let’s consider his humble beginnings. One summer morning, he was sitting at the window and sewing with all his might when a woman selling jams came by. The little tailor bought some jam, spread it on a slice of bread, and decided to finish the jacket he was sewing before eating. Presently, some flies came and began to disturb his untouched bread and jam. The little tailor told them to go away, but they would not listen. He soon lost all patience, took out a cloth and whacked away at the flies. When he counted how many he had killed, he found that he had killed seven at one stroke. So pleased was he with his own bravery that he wanted the whole world to hear of it. He made himself a girdle that read, “seven at one stroke,” and decided to go forth into the world, because he thought his workshop was too small for his valor.

Throughout this story, whether sewing or contending with giants or facing a wild animal, it can be said that the little tailor did whatever he did with all his might. And so should we. Ecclesiastes 9:10 says, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.” Why? One reason is because one day we will be dead, and when we are lying in the grave, we will no longer be able to work or plan or learn or love at anything. But the most significant reason is because we should do our work for the Lord, and the Lord deserves our very best work. All that we do – whether learning in school, working on a job, eating, shopping, watching a movie, or sleeping – should be done for the Lord, and it should be done with all our might.

Work hard. Play hard. Rest hard. Repeat.

When we are working on seemingly insignificant tasks, we may think like the little tailor did that our place of work is too small for our talent or gifts, but that should not mitigate the might with which we work. Whether big or small, noticed or unnoticed, let us do whatever we are called to do well. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “If it falls to your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, sweep streets like Beethoven composed music … Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the host of heaven and earth will have to pause and say: Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well.”

After going forth into the world, the little tailor repeatedly found himself in situations which would probably have even the bravest of us shaking in our boots. But the little tailor was undaunted by difficulty and danger. Despite being hated by others, degraded by his wife when she found out he was once a tailor, and generally hard pressed on every side, the little tailor always found a way to come out on top. He was not especially strong or unusually smart, but he had a confident mind and a courageous heart. Likewise, David was smaller than all of his brothers, and not particularly tall or handsome. What he lacked in stature and looks, he made up for in bravery and faith in God.

David had never faced a giant before, but he was confident in God that he would defeat him. The little tailor had never faced giants or wild animals before either, but he was confident in himself that he could overcome them. It is important to have confidence in one’s self, but as believers, it is even more important for us to have complete faith, trust, and confidence in God. We may sometimes stumble, fall, and fail ourselves, but God will never fail us. As our Story Scripture suggests, the person who trusts in the Lord will be blessed and the one who has confidence in the Lord will never be disappointed.

With confidence in yourself and in your Creator, you have already overcome the obstacle before encountering it. You have already won the war before fighting one battle. You have already succeeded before even starting. Yes, with confidence, you can pull off pretty much anything!

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