Facing Your Giants
A former CASA young man three plus years ago was arrested for first degree murder, attempted first degree murder and three other felonies. JD and his friends went to Murfreesboro to buy drugs from dealers. JD’s version is the dealers pulled guns to rob them then his crew pulled guns. Everybody started shooting and as a result one dealer was dead and the other one wounded. His public defender believed if convicted he was looking at fifty years in prison. To add to JD’s troubles he was also approached for sex and the family of the dead man promised to have him killed as soon as he hit the state prison system. JD was seventeen at the time and had never faced a “giant” like the one he was now facing. After knowing him for eighteen months, I knew JD was capable of getting himself in trouble because of his history but never dreamed he was capable of murder. It’s now been determined that JD’s gun did not kill the man but the charges are unchanged.
JD needed encouragement and Max Lucado’s book Facing Your Giants seemed appropriate. The book was written about David’s life. Mr. Lucado granted permission to write a synopsis of his book. Once the document was completed, I attempted to deliver it to the jail to find out that’s not the way the jail mail works. It had to arrive via U.S. mail and the inmate does not receive the actual document. All correspondence is reviewed then scanned into a computer system and JD would read it on a kiosk. The jailer suggested the likelihood of the office scanning a 28-page document was somewhere around ZERO! The new plan was to mail one chapter per week to JD.
After several weeks of mailing chapters, I made a visit to JD. Yes, he had received the letter, but I could tell he really had no idea who David was and showed little interest in learning about him. After analyzing the situation, I realized a mistake, JD believed in God but had spent no time in church nor studying the Bible. He really had no understanding of why he needed a relationship with God. JD needed someone who could talk about the life of David. I’m still trying to work with JD. My hope is that Max Lucado’s book can help you to face your giants.
The following is the paraphrase. I’ll publish 2-3 chapters per week.
FACING YOUR GIANTS
BY MAX LUCADO
Max is the author of several books on spirituality and our personal relationship with God. He has both a unique and excellent way of expressing how to think about what the Bible has to say.
This book relates to the experiences in the life of David to our lives. We face many of the same challenges as David. Although we may not literally face a human giant, some of the events we encounter in our lives feel like a Goliath.
All scripture quotations are from the New King James version unless noted.
In 1st Samuel 17, God’s people, the Israelites, are facing war with the Philistines. The Philistines’ champion was a giant over nine feet tall named Goliath. For forty days Goliath challenged the Israelites to send their champion to do battle. All the Israelites were afraid and refused to face the giant until David, a mere boy, volunteered to go.
Goliath was equipped with a helmet, body armor weighing 125 pounds and a spear with a 15-pound head. David wore no armor but simply ran toward this GIANT carrying his shepherd’s staff and a slingshot with 5 stones. Your impression might be that David was poorly equipped, but he had something Goliath did not, God.
Max writes: “Your Goliath doesn’t carry sword or shield; he brandishes blades of unemployment, abandonment, sexual abuse, or depression. Your giant doesn’t parade up and down the hills; he prances through your office, your bedroom, your classroom. He brings bills you can’t pay, grades you can’t make, people you can’t please, whiskey you can’t resist, pornography you can’t refuse, a career you can’t escape, a past you can’t shake and a future you can’t face.”
“First thought of the morning, last worry of the night – your Goliath dominates your day and infiltrates your joy. You’ve seen your Godzilla. The question is, is he all you see?” When taunted by Goliath, David’s response is, “I come against you in the name of the Lord God Almighty”. When faced with his GIANT, David’s relationship and faith in God helped him win the battle.
Max encourages: “Giants. We must face them. Yet we need not face them alone. Focus first, and most on God. The times David did, giants fell. The days he didn’t David did.”
“Giants. We must face them. Yet we need not face them alone. Focus on giants-you stumble. Focus on God-your giants tumble.”
Max talks about disappointments we face in our youth: failing to make the baseball team, soccer team, or no call from that someone special, etc. He describes the rejections as “You know the pain of no call. We all do”!
Samuel, God’s chosen priest for the Israelites, anointed Saul as their king when the Israelites asked for one. Overtime Saul’s characteristics become tiresome and God rejects him as king. God sends Samuel to Bethlehem because he has chosen a new king, David.
David had seven older brothers who Samuel thought were perfect fits to be king, but God rejected them. God told Samuel in Samuel 16:7, “God does not see the way people see. People look at the outside of a person, but the Lord looks at the heart.” Max says this verse was offered because: “We are weary of society’s surface level system, of being graded according to the inches of our waist, the square footage of our house, the color of our skin, the make of our car, the label of our clothes, the size of our office, the presence of diplomas, the absence of pimples. Don’t we weary of such games?”
Max closes this chapter with these thoughts: “God examines hearts. When he finds one set on him, he calls it and claims it. The story of young David assures us of this: your Father knows your heart, and because he does, he has a place reserved just for you.”
Facing Your Giants - Max Lucado - 2006 - Published by Thomas Nelson, Inc.