Of Giants and a Great Big God

His little voice stammered and strained as he told me about his fear of getting up in front of people, his dread of everyone looking at him.  As I listened to this little friend with the big eyes and sensitive heart, I could hear every one of his words echoing as if they were my own.  How could I tell this precious child that when you are born shy the fear doesn’t ever really go away, you just learn more skills to cope with it?  The world always seems larger and faster and louder than you are, and you either withdraw to safer, smaller circles, or you learn to walk beside your Father with your small hand firmly in His big one.  “Hear my cry, O God…from the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint.  Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for You have been my refuge, a strong tower…”  Psalm 61:1-3

I thought of older friends who were facing dreads of their own: cancer, the death of a child, the breakdown of a marriage, loss of a business.  How to tell a preschooler that the giants of fear and shame just get bigger as you grow, but so does faith?  I’d rather shield him from that for now, but then how does one learn to trust unless you can take the first step?  No use covering up the giants and pretending they don’t exist…this is the way life is, and yes, monsters are real.

It’s okay to feel nervous and embarrassed, I told him.  Everyone does.  But that doesn’t stop us from doing the things God has for us to do….because if He wants us to do these things, then He will give us what we need to get it done.  I used to tell my own children this, that just because something is difficult doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it, and that anything really worth doing is worth working for.  And He promises to never leave us alone here.

So we talked about David fighting his giant and how all he had was a slingshot and a great big God, and we sang and we prayed, and I hoped this one would remember the shepherd boy who became a king, when he faced his own life giants.  I thought of my own faith-prayer that I read at night, that often goes through my mind when I walk up in front of people:

“Every new duty calls for more grace than I now possess, but not more than is found in thee, the divine Treasury in whom all fullness dwells.  To thee I repair for grace upon grace, until every void made by sin be replenished and I am filled with all thy fullness.  May my desires be enlarged and my hopes emboldened, that I may honor thee by my entire dependency and the greatness of my expectation.  Do thou be with me and prepare me for all….May I find thy grace sufficient for all my needs.”  (taken from The Valley of Vision, p.116)