Facing Giants

My second stepfather was a 36 year old bachelor who fell in love with my mother and took on her seven children as well. He took on a “giant” with all the good intentions of a man in love. The problem was he hadn’t dealt with his own inner giants before he did. The end result was a long tenuous, see-saw, walking-on-eggshells life, for everyone involved except my stepfather, who eventually lost all confidence in himself leading to the neglect and eventual abandonment of his own 3 children. He had tried to do it alone and lost.

When I was a girl of about 4 or 5, I went out in the bush with a family friend who was hunting rabbits. While he roamed through the bush, I stood in a small clearing, rocking back and forth on an old fallen tree, daydreaming and listening to the sounds of nature around me. Movement caught my eye and I looked up. There, almost directly across from me in the clearing, was a black bear who had just pushed through the brush . The bear was just as surprised as I was. I stood frozen on that log for several minutes as the bear and I stared at each other. Finally, I found my voice and screamed. The bear turned tail and the hunter came running.

Looking back as an adult, I have realized the bear wasn’t really that large. It was not much taller than my 4 year old self and so it must have been a cub. Back then it was a giant to me.

King Saul was aware of his own inner giants and insecurities. When he was chosen by God to be king , he had hidden himself among the baggage so the people couldn’t find him, even though he was head and shoulders taller than everyone else. Saul often suffered from bouts of a “distressing spirit” and later was given to jealousy and paranoia regarding David. So when the giant Goliath and the Philistines threatened to destroy Israel and mocked God, Saul hid in his tent and was “dismayed and greatly afraid”. Saul had forgotten who was on his side, who had chosen him to be King. He had Yahweh to defend and strengthen him but he didn’t trust God and so tried to do it alone.

David was a mere shepherd boy, the youngest of eight sons. but his faith in God was great. David knew God was able to deliver him from Goliath because He had delivered him from lions and bears in the field. So David did what Saul and all the army of Israel should have done, trusted in the promises and power of Yahweh and slew the giant.

We all have things in life that feel like we are facing a giant and some are giants. Sometimes there are circumstances that come into our life that are insurmountable and impossible in our eyes.

So the question is, am I a Saul or a David?

Do I try to do it on my own? Does my faith in God get put on the back burner and do I wrack my brains to figure out a solution? Do I look at the giant from various angles looking for a loophole or a way over, under or through it in my own strength and wisdom? Is my confidence and identity in my own strength or that of other people?

Or do I put my trust in the Lord? Do I remember His promises and all the ways He has provided for me in the past? Do I look up and see His majestic power in the heavens and remember who He is and that I am His child?

“I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1 NASB

So when those giants rise up (and they will), I need to ask myself, do I choose to look at the giant through the lens of fear or faith?

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV

“My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.” ! Corinthians 2:4 NIV

Friends, hold on to your faith in the face of giants. Raise your voice in praise, recite God’s promises, recall His faithfulness, and reach out to fellow believers for help in the battle. You are not alone and you are deeply loved!

Be well!

Patricia

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