Recently, Janice Davis preached very eloquently on facing the giants in our lives, based on the well-known story of David and Goliath. As much as this is a children’s favourite, with the concept of the victorious under-dog being our analogy for many lessons in life, there is no doubt that facing giants is a daily battle that most of us face.
There may be the occasional tyrannical boss or the bully on the playground but most giants don’t take as formidable a form as Goliath, with his armour and imposing presence. Today’s giants are real and often sly, sneaking around in our dreams and inhabiting the dark spaces in our minds, where fear and self-doubt lurk. They don’t face us head-on but throw little poisoned darts causing us to question. Are we good enough? Are we doing the best for our children? Have we financially prepared for our future? Is there a God? Will He provide for our needs? Does He know what He’s doing? Why isn’t He answering our prayers? Perhaps, the giant is an addiction or a form of abuse? All these questions cause fear and anxiety, keeping us awake and worrying until the early hours of the morning.
For many years, I fearfully faced a personal giant but instead of facing it with God, I turned and ran from Him and lived a life in which I chose to ignore His presence. My life was seemingly great and filled with fun but despite being well-hidden for decades, the giant lived in the shadows and was always there. Giants don’t just give up and walk away! Just when I thought I had enough distance and started testing the waters and entertaining the idea of a life with God again, this giant raised its head, attacked and led me into an emotional battle that I was totally ill-equipped to deal with. I believe that God knew this particular situation was the start of where our relationship had broken down and was therefore the place to start the re-building. I tried facing the giant alone but ended up stumbling, falling and nearly facing defeat. The longer I held onto the fear, guilt, anxiety and the lies, the more overwhelming they became.
One of the modern giants is the need to be in control, to have our lives organized so that nothing can catch us off-guard. I’ve realized that despite my best efforts, I will never be in control. God holds the world in His hands and He has sovereignty over our lives. The sooner we acknowledge this, the easier life becomes. Philippians 4:6-7 commands us not to be fearful but to offer everything up to God and He will give us peace.
One day I woke knowing that I had no more energy to continue fighting my giant. God had actively been on my case for months and it was exhausting. I accepted defeat and on my knees offered my situation to Him, even then doubting that He could take away the anxiety that had become a big part of my life.
What followed was an incredible journey of realizing, not only the power but also the loving nature of God. Psalm 46:1 says, God is our refuge and strength and never before had I realized how safe I could feel in His presence and how He could truly set me free. He walked alongside me, finally leaving me with an unbelievable ‘fairy-tale ending’ to a situation that had plagued me for so many years – something so far-fetched that it could only have been orchestrated by God.
God is the creator of the universe and has authority over all things. In our world of instant gratification, we often expect our prayers to be answered immediately and doubt creeps in should this not happen. I’ve come to accept that God has a plan and a purpose for each of us that we can’t begin to understand. He gives us the power to live courageously and fearlessly, offering up all our worries to Him and everything happens in His time. There’s such an incredible peace knowing that He has us in the palm of His hands and He bought my ‘happily ever after’ with His death on the cross. How wonderful that we can be confident and secure, knowing God is the author of our story and larger than any giants we will ever face.