When I was growing up in a small town in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California I was always the smallest kid in my class. I'm convinced that there is a secret school assembly at the beginning of every school year that short people aren't invited to. In that assembly, instructions are given to all the other kids and the teachers, especially gym teachers, to publicly point out to every short kid how short they are. I think tall people are convinced that short people need to be reminded how short they are. Anyway, growing up as a shrimp is very challenging and at times, painful. I did eventually get my growth spurt and caught up to most of my classmates. I'm not bitter that it didn't come until my junior year in high school, though. As a result of my traumatic childhood (yes, that was a blatant attempt at winning your sympathy), I learned some important lessons on how to deal with Giants in life. I'm no longer a shrimp, but I still have to face Giants from time to time.
I can relate to the story of David and Goliath in 1 Samuel 17. David was a small boy, always living in the shadow of his older, and I'm sure, taller brothers. As you read this story, I want to point out 6 Keys to facing the giants in life. David arrives on the scene in this story to find that a giant, 11-foot Philistine soldier has been standing on a hillside yelling threats and taunting the army of Israel. This had been going on for 40 days by the time David showed up. Everyone believed that they were powerless against this freak of nature. Everyone, that is, except David. To make a long story short, the shrimp of Israel marches right out to Goliath, kills him and cuts off his head. How did he do it? There are 6 keys David possessed that enabled him to become a giant-killer and these same 6 keys will enable you and I to kill the giants that we will face in life.
Key #1 - Size doesn't matter.
In life, bigger is not always better and smaller is not bad. God always does things backwards or upside down from the way we do them. The giants we face in life can be enormous and incredibly scary. But just because something is bigger than you, don't let it determine the outcome. David didn't let the obvious size difference rattle him. Just remember that the smaller you are, the bigger God can be through you. It is true that the bigger they are, the harder they fall.
Key #2 - Giants lie!
The biggest mistake the men of Israel made was believing everything Goliath was saying to them. This paralyzed them and rendered them useless. David would have none of it and knew the real truth. When you face a giant who is threatening you and mocking your God, don't listen to him. Remind yourself of the truth and boldly tell him what David told his giant. Always remember that a giant has no defense against the truth of God's Word. That is your best weapon, so use it.
Key #3 - Giants won't go away on their own.
Goliath was prepared to step out on that hill for the rest of eternity if Israel let him. The giants we face will continue to invade our daily life if we fail to face them head-on. The saddest part of this story is that the mighty men of Israel let this go on for 40 straight days. Israel had settled in to a way of life and had resigned themselves to the fact that this giant was there to stay. It is up to us whether the giant stays or leaves. We need to be like David and decide that we will not tolerate giants in our life.
Key #4 - Facing giants is a lonely profession.
When David decides to do something about this uncircumcised Philistine, he catches incredible flack from his brothers. They said things like, "Who do you think you are?" If you want to be a giant slayer in life you have to be willing to stand alone because your actions will make others uncomfortable because they are reminded of the fact that they are choosing to do nothing about the giants in their own lives. Be like David - be brave and don't ever follow the crowd.
Key #5 - Don't let your giant call the shots.
For 40 days Goliath was dictating the outcome for Israel. Notice the difference between the way David handled the situation and the way everyone else did. Until David arrived on the scene, Goliath was doing all the talking and Israel was just listening. David marches up to that giant and starts calling the shots. There is a scene in the movie 300 that captures this point. King Xerxes of Persia sends his general to inform King Leonidas and his 300-man Spartan army that if they surrender, he will let them live and serve as part of his army. King Leonidas boldly tells this general that they will be slaves to no one. Enraged, the general declares that on that day, the arrows from the 1000-nation army of King Xerxes will blot out the sun and destroy them all. To this King Leonidas responds, "Then we shall fight in the shade!" That is how you deal with giants. You call the shots!
Key #6 - Never forget who is fighting for you.
Israel was paralyzed by the fact that they didn't have anyone to fight this giant, but David was emboldened by the fact that the battle was not his, but the Lord's. It is so easy to get caught up in our own weakness in the face of a giant that we forget that we have God on our side. David knew he was powerless against Goliath, but he also knew that Goliath was powerless against God. It is critical to remember this when facing giants. The Apostle Paul states it this way in Romans 8:31 - "And if our God is for us, then who can be against us?" The next time you face a giant tell him what David told Goliath - "This day the Lord will hand you over to me, and I'll strike you down and cut off your head." That is how a giant killer talks!
As certain as we know there will be giants to face, we also know that God is on our side. When you feel all alone in the shadow of your giant remember that you are not alone for God is with you. Then march right up to that giant and cut his head off!