Sunday, July 06, 2014
Facing the Giants
We all like a story where there's an underdog who overcomes and wins the day. We cheer him on but we likely wouldn't bet on him winning.
Who was this giant? He was a huge, battle seasoned warrior. He stood over nine feet tall and was covered in armour! And here he was intimidating the Israelites with trash talk, challenging them to come out and fight him. No one was willing to take him on.
Along comes the young shepherd, David, and he's in disbelief that none of the soldiers are willing to go out and meet this man and fight him! And so young David, with no battle experience, takes him on.
We all face giants in our lives. Perhaps it's the bully in the schoolyard or someone at work who intimidates us. We see them and immediately dread and anxiety starts and we look for ways to avoid them.
Sometimes our giants are circumstances. Perhaps we have lost our job or are having financial problems that we just can't face. Sometimes we turn to addictive substances to escape our giants and that becomes the giant in our life.
Other times it's illness. Cancer, heart attacks and strokes can have catastrophic effects in our lives and recovery can be a huge battle. Chronic illnesses can sap us of energy, wearing our resources slowly, day after day, week after week, month after month and drawing out into years.
Sometimes it's that book we've wanted to write for a long time but a lack of faith in our ability stops us from getting on with it.
As a child I sang songs in Sunday School about Daniel and David and other heroes of the faith. I learned about how they overcame great difficulties, but did I ever think I could be like them? I did. As a child I had an innocent and simple faith that God would be with me in times of trouble. As an adult, I know that sometimes people of great faith don't overcome the giants in their lives - or at least that's our perspective.
However, we look at these situations from a worldly point of view and that's one of the first lessons we can learn from David - we shouldn't look for or depend on worldly solutions.
Saul tried to fit David with armour but really, he was so weighed down he couldn't move! So David said, forget this. All I need is my sling shot and some stones. The Lord will deliver that Philistine into my hands!
We live in the world but we don't live by the world's standards. We rely on the power of God's Holy Spirit to equip us for the battle ahead. All the equipment in the world isn't going to win the battle for us.
Second, we need to remember all our past victories and blessings and give God the glory for them. When we remember what God has done for us, it gives us courage. As a matter of fact, God's got a good record of helping us - if you think about it we have a 100% success rate in getting through difficulties. If we didn't we wouldn't be here! When we call on God He equips us for the battle ahead.
God doesn't promise there won't be trouble in this world. He doesn't say life will be easy. Instead he says Christ has overcome the world.
Third, with these victories in mind, our faith is bolstered and we realize we can trust in Him. When we do trust in God, He brings us the victory. It doesn't always look the way we want it to, and it's not always in our timing. However, he does bring us through. David knew that God would deliver him because he had in the past. He'd battled lions and bears with his bare hands. He didn't even see the problems. He only saw the possibilities.
Perhaps you don't have full confidence in yourself. Perhaps you think you need to be fearless like David, but the bible doesn't tell us David was without fear. It only tells us about his courage, and courage doesn't mean an absence of fear. Courage is stepping out in faith in spite of our fear.
We often look at our heroes and think we could never be like them. But Jesus tells us that even just a little tiny bit of faith can move mountains.
As a writer, I often find myself writing about the giants in my life. I find inner strength as I spill out what I'm facing on the page. As the feelings and fears travel from my heart into my fingers tapping away I'm filled with the awareness that what I fear, what faces me, is really just a stumbling block in the path I'm meant to walk. As I embrace that fear and pain and allow it to exist, acknowledge it and the give it to God, He is able to strengthen me.
We sang this song that brings this very truth to my heart. This is one of the verses.
"He is jealous for me
Love's like a hurricane, and I am a tree
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory
And I realize just how beautiful you are and how great your affections are for me."
"Oh, how He loves us so, oh how He loves us..."
When we realize how much God loves us, allowing that truth to penetrate and fill our consciousness and permeate our very soul, His strength comes. We can be confident in Christ for He has overcome the world.
Bless you as you face the giants in your lives.
Here's a link to this song on YouTube if you've never heard it before:
*Thanks to Pat Humble for inspiring this blog post
Kathie Chiu is a Salvation Army officer.
She lives, works, writes - and knits - in
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