Thoughts of a messed up Christian saved by God's grace

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Creating our own giants

   I am reading an interesting book titled "Jesus and the Beanstalk". I haven't gotten very far in it, but am already finding the book helpful and encouraging. There is something the author said in the last chapter I read that has stuck with me:

"In a land of giants,  too often we Christians spend so much time contemplating our opponents and weighing the odds,  we defeat ourselves.  The odds are always in favor of the giant, but odds don't win battles. Ask David."

   As I have thought on this, the thought hit me, how often to we create our own giants? There is an age old saying "don't make mountains out of molehills", and more often than not, many of us make something a bigger issue or worry than it should be, and next thing we know we are facing a giant and cowering in fear from something we helped create.

 A personal example: about 15 years ago, I bought a small house here in the same town I am living in. I switched jobs a few years later, and wasn't getting enough hours, especially during the winter. I started using credit cards for necessary and unnecessary purchases and got in over my head. I never got behind on my house payment, but I got behind on other things. I sold the house, moved away, and eventually filed bankruptcy. After I moved back to Ohio, I moved in with my parents and put most of my belongings in storage. I have needed my own place for too long, but for a while finances and poor credit kept me from doing anything, but lately it has been fear. I have created a giant so big of fear of failing again, fear that I'll get my own place and not be able to afford it after all, fear that I'll get sick and won't be able to work..... and more. Goliath would have nothing on this giant I have created.

  At the suggestion of a friend, I have started looking to buying my own place again....and the giant is starting to grow again:

What if I can't get approved for a loan, even though my credit is good again?

What if I lose my job after buying a house?

Can I really afford it?

What if I get a house and it needs something major that I can't afford?

Will I have money for Christmas gifts and other things?

Can I really stand on my own two feet again, or will I fail?

Will I have to eat Ramen noodles for the rest of my life?

  There are other fears and worries that add on to this ever growing giant. Others may look at me and think I am nuts for having these worries, and maybe they are right. I don't have enough confidence in myself, but where is the line between that and not trusting God?

  David had 5 smooth stones, but took Goliath down with one. So what are the stones I can use?

1) Prayer

2) Trusting God

3) The fact that I am making almost $3 an hour more than when I bought my first house...and I had no problem til I switched jobs (and a house I'm looking at is the same price as the one I previously owned)

4) A good credit score

5) Hope

   The biggest thing I have on my side is God. If I pray for His will, and find the place I believe He would want - and yes, I believe it matters - then I shouldn't have any worries. A quote in a fiction novel I read comes to mind, A man was doubting God could work something out, and his friend said "Why don't you make a list of the things you believe God can do for you so He knows not to do the things you don't believe He can do...."Ouch. Maybe the biggest problem we have in creating and then defeating our giants, is we don't trust God enough and we try to do it in our own strength.

  And I am not saying in this post that every giant we face is one of our own making, but I do believe all too often we create the giant by making the issue bigger than it really is, and by letting our fears and worry add to it. If we trusted God more, maybe we wouldn't face so many giants, and maybe they wouldn't be so big to us.

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