As long as I can remember, there have been giants in my life and in my land. Some are uglier and bigger than others, but all of them stand before me, threatening the stability and security of my life and seem greater than my ability to conquer them. A giant is a picture of those obstacles or issues that come into our lives that tempt us to live in fear, or that cause us to wonder where God has gone or that seem insurmountable. Those threatening issues that are gigantic to our heart, and cause us to worry and lose heart.
My giants are of different sizes and different threats:
Financial; fears of how a child will turn out or if my children will indeed end up loving the Lord; marriage stresses and pressures or misunderstandings; deep loneliness for me or another family member; medical problems that don't go away; relationship issues with family; sad and devastating circumstances in loved ones' lives; weariness; and often fear of the future.
There were also many instances of giants in scripture. In Numbers 13, we read the story of Moses sending out the heads of the families, twelve leaders, to spy out the land that God had promised to give to them. Even though these men indeed found the land to be a place of milk and honey as God had promised, these leaders of their families gave a bad report to their people and said, "The land was a land of milk and honey, but there were people who were very strong and very large. ,..., We were as grasshoppers in our own sight and so we became in their sight."their sight" (the sight of the giants). Consequently, because of the bad report, these men swayed the people to disbelieve in God's ability to provide for them, and so the result was 40 years wandering in the desert wilderness.
Grasshoppers, tiny insignificant bugs in comparison to the giants.
This is such a picture of me of what happens when we see giants and don't face them with God's strength. We become as grasshoppers in our hearts. We become small minded, fearful, ineffective. Then, God gives us over to our faithlessness and we end up "wandering in the wilderness." Faithlessness always leads to a wilderness of soul.
As I see it, in scripture, giants gave people a great opportunity to glorify God--to see His faithfulness, to believe in His goodness, to conquer. We really can't walk with God and have fear and disbelief at the same time. Our heart has only enough room for one of the other. I often think people say to me, "I feel like God is far off from me and doesn't even hear my prayers", when often, we have left His presence and companionship by disbelieving Him in the midst of our fears and being overwhelmed.
Caleb and Joshua had different eyes in their hearts--they saw the giants, but they saw God and His strength more clearly. They believed He could conquer and lead them in victory. Because of their faith, they were the only men who were allowed to go into the promised land after the 40 years of discipline were completed.
God's response to the disbelieving Israelites was this:
"Surely all the en who have seen my glory and y signs, which I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness, yet have put me to the test these ten times and have not listened to my voice."
Yikes--how often have I seen God's faithfulness in my own life and then looked at the next giant with fear and faithlessness as though God had never worked in my life! Sometimes I just get tired of giants and want to coast in my life. Am I testing and grumbling against Him when the giants come, or resting and waiting patiently for His solutions because I see Him in His glory and faithfulness and lovingkindness?
Here God says that disbelief is evil! He is the one who also told us, "Now, faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.,..., Without faith, it is impossible to please Him, for He who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him." Hebrews 11: 1, 6
We all know the story of David, too. Around 40, 000 soldiers, strong men, faced Goliath, the giant, and with their eyes, they saw someone who could not be defeated. Yet, David saw him and in the eyes of his heart, he immediately saw something different. His response to Goliath was, "For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that He should taunt the armies of the living God?" ( I Samuel 17: 26; 45-46) He saw Goliath as an opportunity to show His faith in the one true God and in His strength. When he was killing Goliath, he said, "You come to me with a sword and a spear and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted. This day, God will deliver you in my hands."
So that is how I am supposed to face my giants, see them as taunting God's realities in my life, but facing them in the name of the Lord of Hosts--the Lord who leads armies of angels, the strong and mighty God who is able to conquer all the giants in my life.
I am learning that God is stronger than all of my giants. That it is a waste of time to live by fear. That when I give my giants into His hands I can find rest for my soul as Jesus found rest in the boat in the middle of the storm.
But where does this battle take place? In my heart.
When I am alone in my bedroom pondering my issues, feeling darkness, but knowing that God sees me and sees the battle--that He knows when I choose to say, "I will believe--even though I don't feel faith, I will choose today to praise you--to put one foot in front of the other, to be grateful, by faith, for your presence, for this child, this circumstance--you see my heart--you alone--today I will believe in the Lord of hosts working amongst my giants to slay them.
Old giants will be defeated. New ones will come. But, this life, these giants, are the best way I have to live a story of faith and to show God's glory--this is the way I will model faith in my home, so that my children can learn how to face their giants.
Today, I will look my giants in the face and see God's shadow towering over them, the Lord of Hosts fighting for me--see God's purposes in the midst, learn to grow stronger and see them conquered as He has conquered so many in the past.
What are your giants? How are you facing them?