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Southside is a loving, vigorous, and growing congregation in Shelbyville, Tennessee. Our vision is toward the future: Our Children, Our Ministry, and Our Outreach. Our goal is to embrace all people in our hearts and fellowship as we strive together to support Christ’s mission on earth.
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5 minutes reading time (981 words)

Facing Your Giants - Chapters 9 & 10

Chapter 9

Max tells a story about watching a lady trying to walk her dog on a hot day.  The dog plopped down in the cool grass and refused to take one more step.

Max asks: “Have you ever reached your “plopping point?” You can’t do one more thing. That’s absolutely it.

After finding the village burned and their families kidnapped, David’s men threaten to stone him.  David found strength in God and leads his six hundred men to chase after the Philistines. Max goes on: “How essential that we learn to do the same. Support systems don’t always support. Friends aren’t always friendly. Pastors wander off base and churches get out of touch. When no one can help, we have to do what David does here. He turns to God.”

David and his men continue their chase and arrive at a brook called Besor. They rest for a brief period and press on but two hundred of the men plop down and cannot continue with the others even though their families are still being held, hostage.

Max believes the present-day church also so has its share of folks who plop down. He illustrates:” Maybe it is a defeating string of defeats. Divorce can leave you at the brook. Addiction can as well. Whatever the reason, the church has its share of people who just sit and rest.”

David’s army continues the chase and finds an Egyptian servant who is disabled and the Philistines have left behind to die. The Egyptian shows them the campsite of the Philistines.  David and his army overcome the Philistines and all the families being held hostage are rescued.

As the rescued families begin to look for their warrior imagine their feelings as they discover he stayed behind at Besor to rest. Some of David’s men became angry with their comrades who stayed behind. They refused to share to the spoils captured at the Philistines’ camp.

David convinced the angry soldiers that those who remained at Besor served a purpose by protecting the supplies left with them. This was probably the noblest act David ever accomplished. David’s words: “Don’t do that after what the Lord has given us. He has protected us and given us the enemy who attacked us. Who will then listen to what you have to say? The share will be the same for the one who stayed with the supplies as for the one who went into battle. All will share alike.” I Samuel 30: 23-24 NCV

Max ends with these thoughts; “Are you weary? Catch your breath. Are you strong? Reserve passing judgment on the tired. Odds are, you’ll need to plop down yourself. And when you do, Belsor is a good story to know.”

 

Chapter 10

Max devotes this chapter to dealing with grief.  People get bad news from policeman explaining that your loved one died in an accident, a surgeon delivers bad news, or a soldier knocks on your door to explain how your soldier died in the war.

David’s bad news comes from another soldier that Saul and Jonathan have been killed in a battle with the Philistines. Saul was God’s chosen king and Jonathan was closer than a best friend, he was like a brother. About Saul’s and Jonathan’s deaths Max writes: “Leaving David to face yet another giant---the giant of grief. And we, like David face, have two choices: flee or face the giant.” “What else can you do? The grave stirs such unspeakable hurt and unanswerable questions, we’re tempted to turn and walk. Change the subject, avoid the issue. Work hard. Drink harder. Stay busy. Stay distant. Head north and don’t look back.”

“Yet we pay a high price when we do. Bereavement comes from the word “reave”. Look up “reave” in the dictionary, and you’ll read “to take away by force, plunder, rob”. Death robs you. The grave plunders moments, memories not yet shared: birthdays, vacations, lazy walks, talks over tea. You are bereaved because you’ve been robbed.”

There are constant reminders of the one you lost. Favorite places to eat, songs and many other things that will make you grieve again and again.

Max advises: “Understand the gravity of your loss. You didn’t lose at Monopoly or misplace your keys. You can’t walk away from this. At some point, within minutes or months, you need to do what David did. Face your grief.” David wept, ripped his clothes and fasted the rest of the day.  “You need to do the same. Flush the hurt out of your heart and when the hurt returns, flush it again.”

Max quotes from Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV – There is…. a time to mourn. “Give yourself some. Face your grief with tears, time, and—and once more—face your grief with truth. God has the last word on death. And, if you listen, he will tell you the truth about your loved ones. You miss them like crazy, but can you deny the truth? They have no pain, doubt, or struggle. They really are happier in heaven.”

Max’s conclusion: “So go ahead, face your grief. Give yourself time. Permit yourself tears. God understands. He knows the sorrow of a grave. He buried his son. But he also knows the joy of resurrection. And, by his power, you will too.”

Although I’ve never experienced a divorce, many people who have tell me it’s feels like death has happened.  On occasion, folks will do something stupid and run afoul of the law.  I know a man who became involved with a scam and even though he denied knowledge of wrong doing, he spent over a year in jail. He and his family were devastated.  These types of events may also need some time to grieve.  Go ahead if you need to grieve, it’s OK.

Facing Your Giants – Max Lucado – 2006 – Thomas Nelson Publishing – Used by Permission

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