I was always one of the tallest kids in class. Back in high school I used to joke that the main reason I was on the girls’ basketball team was so that I could get off the traveling bus first just to intimidate the opposition. Despite what they may have initially seen, in reality they didn’t have much to worry about. My lack of athletic prowess may have been caused by hidden orthopedic challenges (no longer hidden, I might add!), latent asthma (ibid.), or simply a lack of interest and/or talent. Like my 6’5” brother once observed, tall people rarely have to jump…for anything.
Nevertheless, what we see with our eyes can be scary, because we have a way of interpreting it through the lens of past experience, which is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it’s a safety mechanism. If there’s a motorcycle coming down the road, past experience says it behooves me to move. Unless, of course, I’m an 18-wheeler with the right-of-way, then I expect the burden of wisdom to rest with the motorcycle.
With this in mind, I suppose I can have a little compassion on the returning Israelite spies after checking out the new land God has promised them. Beautiful place, for sure, but definitely not going to be just given to them without some sweat equity on their part, including in the area of faith:
“We even saw giants there,… Next to them we felt like grasshoppers, and that’s what they thought, too!”
The King James Version says, “and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.”
Giants are intimidating, including those of doubt, offense, fear, anger, and a whole host of other big emotional and spiritual bullies that the Enemy uses to kill, steal, and destroy God’s precious ones. And Satan still uses his age-old tactics on us, just like on the Israelites.
So now maybe it’s my turn to stand nose to navel with the giant when he asks, “don’t you know who I am?”. I’m tempted to cower and run for cover, when in fact the true response is—
“Don’t you know who I am?
In other words, who’s sight really counts here? How do I see myself? Or the real question is, how do I see my God? How I see myself reflects how I see Him, His work on the Cross and His power in the Resurrection. There is no room for false humility here, nor is there time to waste, as there are way, way too many giants to be cleared away. In fact, to think less of ourselves than what God Almighty does might even be more serious than that. Check out what Caleb and Joshua said to the Hebrews who were contemplating turning back to Egypt rather than face their “giants”~~
“Do not rebel against the LORD, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land. They are only helpless prey to us! They have no protection, but the LORD is with us! Don’t be afraid of them!”
My very non-Jewish, 21st-century translation is this: To not embrace my identity in Christ and courageously enter the destiny He has planned for me is (are you ready)?
—an act of rebellion.
So, of course there may be a giant in my life, but he’s just on a motorcycle. My God is driving the 18-wheeler; I’ll just buckle my seatbelt ‘cuz He’s doing something big.
Numbers 13: 33; Numbers 14: 9 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.