Facing Your Giants

Have you ever read something in the Bible that you’ve read hundreds of times before and have something pop out that you never saw before? This happened to me just this past week. We have all heard the story of David and Goliath in our Sunday School classes while we were young and sat in awe and wonder over how David defeated Goliath with just a sling shot and five small stones. As I read deeper into the story, I saw something very significant for our lives today.

The armies in Biblical times would often pit its strongest warrior against the strongest warrior of the opposing side. This was done to avoid the high cost of battle amongst the fighting soldiers. Because Goliath was over 9 feet tall, he was the soldier who would lead the Philistines. When Israel was at war in Philistia, the armies faced each other across the valley of Elah. If you could imagine it, the Philistines were on one large hill, and the Israelites were on the other large hill while a valley lay between them. In order to fight the battle, the soldiers had to charge down their side of the hill and battle in the valley. The fiercest battles were fought in the valleys.

When David came on the scene, he was bringing food to his brothers and was seeing how they were faring. When he got to the army encampment he heard Goliath’s threats and witnessed the Israelites fear. David’s response was: “who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the living God?” 1 Samuel 17:26. David was the only Israelite who saw Goliath from a divine perspective. Are we looking at our problems from a human perspective or from God’s perspective? If we are full of fear, worry and anxiety, or if we have lost our joy and peace, we are looking through the lens of human reasoning. In man’s eyes, Goliath had the advantage in fighting David. But Goliath didn’t realize that in fighting David, he was actually fighting God.

With his five smooth pebbles from the brook and his slingshot in hand, David walks or runs down the mountain to the valley to face his giant. When Goliath sees a young boy, he gets angry and disdains David. But David knew his God and with boldness declared; “you come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with 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 defiled. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand.” 1 Samuel 17:45-46. David knew God and He knew that God was not going to abandon him on the battlefield. His victory was won in the valley. This story was not put in the Bible to show us how great David was. It was placed in the Bible to show us how great God is.

The Old Testament story in the Book of Samuel in the bible relates how a young shepherd, David, defeats the gigantic Philistine warrior Goliath using his sling and a stone. Here, David is preparing to use the sling. From “The Cottager and Artisan, 1889” published by The Religious Tract Society, London.

Is there a giant in front of you? Do you feel like you have been in the valley for so long that you have forgotten what the sun looks like? For the past six months I have had to face a lot of giants in my life that have been stealing my peace and joy for years. I finally came to the point where I didn’t want to stay the way I was and the only way out of my emotional mess was through counseling. One giant, in particular, was the hardest for me to face. When I was in college, a man tried to kidnap me. I still remember the sound of the car, the color of the car, and the look of the man….and the supposed weapon he picked up. I had to be escorted by police to my classes until I graduated in the spring. I never spoke much about the incident because I wanted to forget about it. I tried to go on with my daily activities but I noticed I was….different. Where fear never existed, it abounded. I no longer wanted to shop alone or be alone in public. I stuffed all of these feelings deep inside of me and hid them from everybody because I didn’t want anyone to know that I was falling apart. How many people know when you keep trying to ignore a traumatic experience, one day it is all going to explode? Well, that is what happened. Years passed since the incident and fear led into panic attacks, and panic attacks led into chronic anxiety all because I didn’t want to face my horrifying giant. I lived like this for 30 years. I would go on with everyday life acting like nothing was wrong. And a lot of days, I could pull it off. But, it caused me to be untrusting and more introverted than I ever was. I even questioned God about how he could allow this to happen. Where were his protective angels? Didn’t he care about me? This, of course, would spiral into ministry and cause a whole new set of problems (or giants) for me. I had to come to a place in my life where enough was enough and trust God to fight my giant of fear and heal my body.

Through counseling I am able to see that God was by my side during the whole incident. The abductor couldn’t touch me because God’s angels were fighting for me. Even though I felt all alone and I had to find a way of escape on campus, I was being hidden in the Master’s hand. So often, we don’t realize the battle taking place around us because we are so in tuned to the horrible situation at hand. If you get nothing else from this post, I hope you will remember this: God is for you, not against you. The giant you are facing right now is only temporary. Rest in Him and allow him to fight your giant for you.

Psalm 91:1-6

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High, Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust. Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that walks in the darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.

As I write this Psalm, I am in tears just thinking of what God did for me. May you, too, experience God’s deliverance as you face your giants. I pray that you will find joy in today.

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