Our biggest hurdles, our hardest struggles, our deepest longings can many times be the ‘giants’ in our lives. Some of our toughest battles seem to be the ones that don’t end quickly. If you are at all like me, being honest, you sometimes even get mad that your prayer about your battle not being answered – or at least seemingly not – especially in the way that you would like it to be answered. You fully believe in answered prayer, you know that God hears you, and you have faith that He is fully able to answer it. But what happens when it seems as if he isn’t answering it? How do you reconcile that? Those are the things that I call my ‘giants’ of life.
“I will not drive them (the ‘ites’ … the races of giants) out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate and the beast of the field multiply against thee. By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased and inherit the land.” Exodus 23:29-30.
The Israelites faced the races of giants (Hittites, Amorites, Amelekites, etc.) over and over again as they made their way from Egypt to the Promised Land. It had to be frustrating to get to one area and have to defeat a race of giants, only to move on again toward the land that had been promised and run into another race of giants to defeat, and then another.
How do we deal with our giant? Is it a relationship? Prayer for healing? Finances? Giants come in many shapes, sizes and length. Many, including myself, have prayed for the same situation for years, and are still waiting for the answer to come – the victory yet to be realized. How do they do that? How do we do that?
We know that the fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much (James 5:16). Allowing God to be God knowing that His ways our not our ways (Isa. 55:8), being silent and knowing that He IS God (Deut. 4:35), and recognizing that sometimes He doesn’t drive the giants out quickly for many reasons (some of which we may never understand), allows us to be refined. It allows Him to melt the ‘dross’ off of us so that we can be more like Him and can learn to trust Him more. Prayer that allows for His will to be done, not ours (Matt. 6:10).
There may be dry desolate places ahead that He is protecting us from, or ‘beasts’ that He is keeping from multiplying on our behalf. God told the Israelites that He would take care of things. He told them that it might be longer than ‘a year’, and that it would seem ‘little and little’ to them. Of course it seems to us like He’s taking His time and not doing things fast enough. But do we actually realize how precious it was of God to tell them His intentions and reasons, while still giving them the assurance of His promises up ahead? There was a land He was giving to them – a land He had promised their ancestors – an inheritance that He had not forgotten.
God is faithful, merciful, full of grace and love. However He is choosing to work out our need and answer our prayer, it is in His perfect timing, His perfect way, for His glory. He is able to see the pitfalls and detours ahead, and He wants more than anything for us to know Him, to trust Him, and for our faith to be strengthened. Faith comes from walking through those tough times, enduring the ‘little and little-ness’ of our answer and never giving up because we know who our God is. My faith and trust in Him will be increased in the process and my future is secure in the inheritance that He has for me. “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” (Matthew 24:13)
I will rest in Him and declare as the incredible hymn states, “No matter my lot Thou has taught me to say, it is well, it is well with my soul”.