26 Jul '11
Giants and Grasshoppers
“There are giants in the land” was the report of the spies who went in to spy out the land of Canaan for the Israelites prior to their infamous mutiny from God and subsequent wandering in the desert for forty years (Numbers 13-14). For ten of the twelve spies, those giants were insurmountable barriers to taking the land. Only Joshua and Caleb saw the giants in light of God’s power and ability to take them. The rest of the spies looked at them through human and therefore fearful eyes.
All of us have giants in our lives – those people, circumstances or situations that cause fear and anxiety, wake us up at night and which we struggle with. Those giants are real; they often pose a significant threat and are not to be discounted.
The game changer for giants, of course, is God himself, who is not intimidated by those things that cause us fear because He has the power to deal with them. His words to His disciples are encouraging to us. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world (John 16:33).” Wow! We know of the “many troubles” but do we live with the daily knowledge that He has “overcome the world and therefore we may live in peace?” His overcoming power trumps any trouble we could face. Not that he promises to take those troubles away but that He gives us what we need to deal with them no matter how fierce they are.
I have a friend who recently received the devastating news of a diagnosis of mesothelioma. Not only is this an incurable disease of the lungs but it’s typical progression is rapid and its symptoms are terrible. There is nothing nice or comforting about that kind of “trouble:” and absent God’s miraculous healing it is a one way street. This friend and his wife are not despairing of this giant, as great as it has invaded their world. Rather they are facing it with courage and faith and his whole focus now is preparing to meet Jesus who he has served for many years.
Giants create fear while God gives peace and divine perspective if we will allow Him. We confront giants when we give them to God and press into Him with faith knowing that there is no giant he cannot overcome. Ironically the spies reported to the Israelites that compared to the giants “we seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes and we looked the same to them (Numbers 13:33).” What they did not realize is that compared to God’s power, the giants they faced and those we face are mere grasshoppers in God’s eyes: fearful to us, grasshoppers to Him. As Jesus said in John 16:33 it is all a matter of perspective.
I recently confronted one of my giants. The details are unimportant but realizing that God’s power was greater than my giant was everything. It was not without much prayer and faith on my part. Today the giant has been put into its proper perspective (a mere grasshopper in God’s eyes) and for that I am grateful. Our giants are very real. Only God can put them into proper perspective. Are you living with giants or grasshoppers?