There were giants in the land.
We are told about them in the days of Noah and we read of them again in the time of David. Most of us know of Goliath, who David slew, but less is known of the fact that he had four brothers, who also in due time were chased down and killed by Saul’s army.
There are giants in my life.
Giants in my writing that have paralyzed me as surely as Goliath paralyzed the entire Israeli Army.
When David who was still just a shepherd boy faced the mighty Goliath of the Philistine Army, we are told that he ‘chose him five smooth stones out of the brook,” Isa 17:40. With one stone he slew Goliath and some biblical scholars think that the other stones represented the four other Giants in the land who would also eventually need to be slain.
There are five giants in my writing life
Here are five smooth stones that I’ve chosen from His living waters to slay my giants.
Shame – Isaiah 50:7 “Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame.”
I received this verse in an email from our Inscribe spiritual advisor, Connie Inglis (thank you Connie) and knew immediately that it was meaningful to my writing. In working on my memoir there have been parts that cause me to feel shame; shame for what others might think or say about me; shame where I shared no blame. But this verse tells me to ‘set my face like a flint’ meaning to be determined to do what He has called me to do, because I have God to help me. He only brings good and not shame.
Fear - "I am leaving you with a gift –peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid." John 14:27 (NLT)
This verse came to me at the end of 2018 when I received it as a small token of appreciation from The Salvation Army. God wants to give me more peace. In 2018 I was led to a new counsellor who works specifically with post-traumatic stress caused from childhood trauma. It is an area that I have never directly dealt with in my life and even in the first session I felt a peace that I had never felt before.
Confusion - "Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure". Prov. 4:26
Every year I seek a specific word from God to take into the New Year. This year, as I wrote my Christmas post on the ponderings of Mary and how pondering is so much different than worrying, I knew that my word for 2019 would be ponder. And then another Inscribe member included this verse in her post (thank you) and I knew it was one of my smooth stones. With confusion often comes worry. But God promises that as I ponder, meaning think through and pray through the issues deeply, then I can be sure that my feet are on His path.
Disappointment -"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful". Hebrews 10:23
I have had many disappointments in life and in my writing life. I often want to give up in my writing. Already in this New Year, some plans to take a specific writing course have fallen through for me. This verse gives me renewed hope. I am to be unswerving in hope in all areas of life, not because of anything I have done or can do, but because God is faithful to his promises to me. He knows best.
Unbelief – “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making ainthe” Isaiah 43:19
My husband gave me a terrarium for Christmas but rather than containing a living plant it was a desert scene with sand. Besides the fact that I know he doesn’t have a lot of confidence in my plant caretaking abilities, I was a little confused by his choice since I have been trying much harder with my plants. I want living things around me! I’m tired of the desert! But here it sits on my coffee table…..looking very lovely in all its deadness. But rather than ask my husband for a terrarium with an actual live plant, I’ve been pondering over what God might want to be saying to me through it. In my post-Christmas reorganizing of the living room I placed an Ivy plant that is starting to grow prolifically (my green thumb is emerging!) beside the ‘dead’ but yet beautiful terrarium (thank you Reg), and this morning I was reminded of the above verse.
Yes there have been wastelands in my life, but they have not been without purpose and Gods beauty has still shone through. But now God wants me to know that He is doing a new thing in my life (and writing). But just as I had to physically move the living plant beside the dead for that inspiration to come to me, so do I need to refocus my spiritual thoughts from the dead to the living; from shame to honor; from fear to peace; from confusion to pondering; from disappointment to hope; from unbelief to faith.
In 2019 I will work to remove my cumbersome beliefs and wrong thinking, as David removed the armour that had been given him as a defense against the giant. It just weighed him down. I will instead choose these five stones, washed smooth from the river of God’s word and meditate on them.
And then, in time God promises that I, “shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatsoever he does shall prosper.” Psalms 1:3
Gloria Guest writes and blogs from her home on the prairies in Caron, Sk; where she lives with her husband Reg and two cats. She has many writing credits in the form of newspaper articles and columns along with a few published pieces. She enjoys continuing to develop her writing skills alongside her brown but turning green thumb and developing new interests and doting on her four beautiful granddaughters.