Most of us are well acquainted with Goliath. He was the 9’ 7” Philistine, who terrorized the army of Israel. Seventeen-year-old David, a shepherd boy, was the only one who had the courage to confront this giant and achieve victory for his people.
A giant is a being of great stature, strength, and power. However, we have also come to understand that anything unusually large or powerful may be referred to as a “giant.”
We all face such giants from time to time in our lives. Giants are real not some figment of our imagination—not something we dream up. They plague us with insurmountable problems, unendurable pressure, and pain. They may not wield sword and shield, but they are fearsome bringing discouragement, depression, heartache, anger, and fear. They come in all shapes and sizes. They threaten our health, our financial stability, our family, our relationships, our marriage, our jobs, our churches, and anything else we hold dear. These giants want to control our emotions, steal our peace, own our world and dictate our well being. They show up first thing in the morning and leave us sleepless at night.
In these eighty-five years, I have suffered my share of giants. When I retired in 2010, after having been gone for more than forty years, I moved back to Arizona. Except for my sisters, I knew no one. I wasn’t really happy with retirement. After forty years in the pulpit, I didn’t know who I was anymore. I didn’t fit into the retirement world. I didn’t know how to golf, do lunch or wander around in an RV.
I was often confused and sad and lonely. This giant did a job on me, but God saw me through that time. Eventually, I found a church where I made friends and was put to work teaching an adult Bible study.
In the intervening years, a parade of giants descended upon me hardly leaving a moment to breathe between attacks.
All of a sudden, without warning, my healthy, happy husband of five months, became ill and was gone in seven weeks. I couldn’t see that giant, but he was there turning out the lights in my life and weighing me down with sorrow and grief.
Then, there was my little sister who was struggling with Alzheimer’s and refused to acknowledge that anything was wrong. I had ignored the problem as long as I could because I didn’t know what to do. There followed the agony of moving her to a care facility, and selling and giving away her life—another seemingly invincible giant.
Of course, there is this pandemic that has sent all of us into a tailspin. Among other problems has been the lockdown of the elderly depriving us of treasured time with loved ones. Now that I can see my sister again, I find that she is no longer the girls I last saw in May. I left behind a sister who still laughed and sang with me, and tried to tell me things. Now, I have to coax her to open her eyes and look at me. Giants find nothing sacred.
I have had heart issues for a number of years. I know that my pacemaker keeps me alive, but for thirteen years, there has been no trouble at all. Now, all of a sudden, there are serious problems. The mitral valve is leaking and I’m too old for open-heart surgery.
That’s when the giant rang my doorbell swooping in to terrify me, to discourage and defeat me, to steal my peace. For the first time ever I began to think, “Perhaps this is my time.”
So you ask, “How in the world did you handle all this pain and sorrow?
First, I knew that this battle against giants is a spiritual battle, so one by one I handed the problems off to someone who is bigger than I am, Jehovah Jireh, the God who meets my needs. Then I was encouraged by remembering past victories over giants. Finally, I know I am totally dependent on Him, so I give Him credit for the victories.
Faith may not seem to be the best option, but, in fact, it is the only option that will kill giants. We have no great army, no weapons, and no armor, but God surpasses all of these.
Isaiah 54:17 tells us, “No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord…”
Not even Goliath’s 15-pound sword can take you out.
There is no other way to confront the giants in my life. As simple as it may seem, trusting God works. I have proved it.
Please understand, I do not wish to paint myself as a Spiritual heavyweight, who never wavers. God certainly knows the struggles I have had. I just want you to know that you never walk alone. You never fight the giants alone. You never have to live in defeat.
David has received all the press as a giant slayer, however, I remembered another giant slayer, who fits my profile better. Caleb was one of the twelve sent to spy out the land God had promised the Israelites.
When Israel finally entered the Promised Land after wandering in the wilderness for forty years, the land was divided among the tribes, and, at the age of eighty-five, Caleb also asked for his promised inheritance, the mountains of Hebron, knowing that they were inhabited by giants.
In Joshua 14:12, Caleb said, “Now…give me this mountain…It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall be able to drive them (the giants) out as the Lord has said.”
Joshua 15:14 tells us, “Caleb drove out the three sons of Anak (the giants) from there…”
I will be eighty-five years old in a couple of months. When it dawned on me that at eighty-five Caleb was still killing giants, I felt like dancing a jig. If he can do it, so can I! It was a divine revelation. That coupled with the good news that the doctors have another way to fix my heart valve, changed my whole thought trajectory. Just because I have a damaged heart doesn’t mean that my days of usefulness are over. I feel like I have a new lease on life.
Know this! God does not want you to give up. He wants you to get up and put your confidence in Him.
REMEMBER, THE SUN WILL COME OUT TOMORROW!