Fee! Fie! Foe! Fum! Maybe you remember those words from your childhood. Maybe you’ve read the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. The story itself has circulated in some form since at least the 1700’s. Giants have most assuredly always been around. Jonah’s giant was a big fish, David’s giant was a big Philistine—what’s your giant?
In the 1950’s, I had the joy of growing up on a 550 acre farm with cows, pigs, and chickens. Granddad, or Pap as we called him, grew and harvested many different grains as well as tobacco. Not until I was grown and the farm was turned into a big residential development did I realize how valuable that time in life was for me.
Giants were everywhere on that farm. Some of my earliest memories contain thoughts of milk cows kicking me while I tried to shovel manure out of the milking stalls. Long before I could drive a car, I rode a big, black Arabian horse. He was a giant! That horse was like a good friend. There were little giants, too. Rats, snakes, and spiders were their monikers.
The rats were large but not very imposing. The snakes were quite slithery but they didn’t bother me at all. In fact, if it wasn’t a cotton mouth or a copper head, I’d play with them sometimes. Then there were the spiders—spiders of every description. Arachnids might as well be ten feet tall and weigh 1,000 pounds when I see them. They cause my bones to shake like an earthquake. If I never see another one it will be too soon. Obviously, spiders strike fear in my heart. Why? Who knows.
Bad habits are like spiders, especially the little spiders you can barely see. They can be the most poisonous. Sometimes they are tiny little thoughts that confuse the mind. Those thoughts seem to be innocuous, but every time they invade your mind they cause chaos.
Other bad habits are not nearly as inconspicuous, but they are just as ominous. In fact, some of our worst habits are just things we have gotten used to—we know they are bad for us, but they are easy, they don’t bring immediate harm, and we just ignore them. Oh yeah, this type of habit usually affects our waistlines. Know what I mean?
Bad habits and bad health go together like a spider and its web. You rarely see one without the other. Poor mental health comes from poor thinking. Poor physical health comes from poor eating and poor fitness.
Why in the world is it so hard to get over these habits that act to our detriment. Everyone of them is a giant—at least in our individual minds. We really don’t want to face them because we know we will have to change. We’d rather continue in their web of deceit than overcome them.
How sad for us. Take a moment to read Romans 8:1-11. Then, think about your giants. After you read the first part of that chapter and dwell on it for awhile, read verses 12-17. Stay there awhile and let God show you what a privilege it is to know Him. Then, read the rest of the chapter and experience God—the giant killer.
Sometimes, I believe we would rather stand in the shadow of a giant than stand on top of its dead body. I can’t slay my giants; Jesus can.