Facing Your Giants by HEIDI ST. JOHN
Facing Your Giants HEIDI ST. JOHN
“The LORD who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!” 1 Samuel 17:37a
Of all the wonderful stories in the Bible, the story of David and Goliath remains one of my favorites. Just imagining David — a young boy — loading a small stone into a sling and stepping onto a battlefield (knowing he was going to face a giant) bolsters my sometimes-fragile faith.
Can’t you just picture David as he stepped out in front of enemies and critics? Can you hear the naysayers?
By earthly standards, David was woefully unprepared to engage Goliath. The Bible says Goliath was over nine feet tall and covered in more than 125 pounds of armor. Not exactly a fair fight — unless the Lord is on your side!
I marvel at the confidence David placed in the Lord as he begged King Saul for a chance to face the giant: “The LORD who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!” (1 Samuel 17:37a)
Such trust! Notice David said nothing of the size of the giant. He was focused on the size of his God.
I don’t know about you, but David’s faith encourages me. We all face different kinds of giants in our lives. The question isn’t whether they’ll show up; it’s whether we’ll have the courage to load stones into our slings when the time comes. The question is: Will we trust the Lord?
On June 26, 2017, I came face-to-face with a giant I’d previously only heard about. At 11:30 that night, I got a call from my sister explaining how her son Bobby had been in a car accident. In a race against time, emergency responders had stabilized my nephew and were on their way to a trauma center in Portland. I woke my husband, and we joined the family at the hospital.
After agonizing hours of waiting in the ER, the doctors gave a devastating diagnosis: Bobby had sustained a traumatic brain injury known as DAI, or diffuse axonal injury. His spine was crushed at C6, leaving him a quadriplegic. An artery in the back of his neck had been completely severed, depriving him of oxygen and causing further damage to his brain.
We were devastated. This was one of those “I can’t imagine” stories that happened to other people — and yet there we were.
Our giant was a diffuse axonal injury and a crushed spine, but in reality, it was even bigger than that. This giant’s name was fear, and its goal was singular: to cause us to doubt the goodness of God in a sea of suffering. Not exactly a fair fight — unless the Lord is on your side.
That night we cried out to God like never before. Our declaration of war, like David’s, played out on the battlefield. And like David, we knew things didn’t look promising from a human standpoint.
When I imagine David on the battlefield, I usually picture him afraid. How could he not be? Sometimes the only way to face a giant is to do it afraid. Bobby’s fight wasn’t a fair one by human standards, but that’s the point, isn’t it? When we have the Lord on our side, the fight becomes supernatural. If God is for us, we’re assured the victory — whether here or in heaven. With this in mind, we go before God with the confidence of David.
To our amazement and to God’s glory, Bobby woke from his coma about three weeks after his accident. Even though this injury should have resulted in quadriplegia, Bobby is slowly regaining the use of his limbs. Bobby’s battle with his Goliath isn’t over yet, but we’re no longer ruled by our fear. Like David, we know this battle belongs to God.
David’s confidence in the Lord was well-placed, and ours is too. Where human wisdom and healing ends, God’s begins. Whatever giant you face today, whether it’s a struggling marriage, wayward child, sickness, injury or financial struggle, we can rest, knowing God will rescue us.
Fear is no match for the Lord of heaven’s armies. God is pretty good at helping amateurs like David (and you and me) make their aim sure. If David did it with one stone and the power of God, we can too.
Heavenly Father, You see the giants I’m facing. Thank You that you are good enough, wise enough and big enough to conquer them. Thank You that your Holy Spirit offers comfort and peace in the midst of the struggle. As I pick up my stones today and load them into my slingshot, steady my aim. I trust You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY: Joshua 1:9, “This is my command — be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
REFLECT AND RESPOND: What giant are you facing right now?
How can you remember that God is trustworthy even when your circumstances cause you to doubt?