The little people and I have been studying Numbers, and there’s been a lot of head shaking going on. We just want to reach back and take our spiritual brothers and sisters by the hand and—in the words of M&M—exclaim, “Seriously?” Over and over they doubt the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; God Who kept Moses afloat on the Nile and safe in the desert; God Who plagued Pharaoh who enslaved them and parted the Red Sea that blocked them; God Who led them by pillar and cloud; God Who rained down manna and meat and fed them with His spoken Word. It’s hard to believe they would let a few tall people stand between them and the grapes, pomegranates, and milk and honey flourishing in the land that God promised them.
But then again, maybe not.
I stumbled over a mirror while wagging my finger and shaking my head. All I needed was a pair of dusty sandals and a staff; otherwise, I was quite indistinguishable from those unbelievers. I can hear myself now, sounding like Anne Baxter in The Ten Commandments: “Moses, Moses! Surely you didn’t give up all of Egypt only to face those giants!”
Yes, I see giants everywhere in my life: at the doctor’s office, in my datebook, at work, on the scale, in the laundry room, on college applications, and in rejection letters. They attend my homeschool co-op, sign all my rejection letters, and utter, “What if..?” and “Maybe…” and “But…” in booming voices. When I’m in that moment my goal seems impossible, insurmountable, and unachievable because I’m not strong enough, fast enough, social media savvy enough, or marketable enough to slay whatever giant looms before me. Most importantly, I don’t have enough faith in the God Who is more than enough. So, yes, to the wilderness I would go, staff and unpublished books in hand.
And it’s not just the giants ahead that stop me in my tracks. When I look behind me, I get mired by what once was. “Our last house wasn’t so hard to keep clean.” “If I’d only made those edits when she asked!” “We needed to buy this, but should we have spent the money?” “We prayed for friends, but what about schoolwork?” Basically, I’m yearning for “Egypt,” whitewashing the time I spent enslaved to past mistakes and misery, and blaming God for leading me into the desert to die of thirst and hunger and yes, giants.
The thing is, I’m traveling outside of my lane, just like the Israelite spies. Those twelve were charged with reporting what they saw, not interpreting it; to accepting the gift, not working for it. Isn’t God the Author of both the problem and the solution? He made the promise, so He’s more than capable of keeping it. Joshua and Caleb rebuke me with their words: “The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, ‘a land which flows with milk and honey.’ Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them.” (Numbers 14:7-9)
What about you? Does your rebellious fear of the obstacle overwhelm your faith in the Overcomer?
Mine does. I forget that I don’t have to do or be anything more than I am. God knows I can’t arrive on time to save my life, that my humor is sometimes too sharp and ill-timed, that sometimes I choose a clean kitchen over math homework, and my perfectionism hinders my productivity…and He loves me anyway. In fact, He might have chosen me just because of those wide cracks weakening my foundation. They provide Him the perfect opening to seep in and fill me, shoring me up and sealing me for His good pleasure. After all, Psalm 100:3 says, “Know that the Lord, He is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves…”? And because He knew me before Mama did, He provides the way out when I’m tempted, an encouraging word when I’m down, and a swat on the bottom when I’m in the wrong. He uses both my friends and foes as He wills, for “The King’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.” (Proverbs 21:1)
David didn’t just happen upon those rocks on his way to face his own giant. Goliath, the Israelites, their fear, David’s courage, those five smooth stones themselves were all God’s instruments that He used to reveal His glory and power. David took aim, but it wasn’t the shepherd who slew Goliath; it was God. Though my heart often quakes when I put fingers to keyboard or when I step into the doctor’s office or when I must face people who are awaiting my late arrival (yet again), I know I should take courage, knowing that God will break down these situations, people, and emotions—and even me—for my good.
What giants do you see in the distance? Will you trust God, your Rock, to lay them low?