Friday, March 07, 2008

Facing the Giants

We spent a couple hours one night out in a boat while in the Amazon hunting for Camen. It was the job of one of our guides to jump into the water, grab one of the reptiles, then bring it into the boat for us to see. At first, I was sure this was some sort of set up as the girl dove into the pitch black water and came up with a camen.

But it wasn't.

She's been hunting for camen's for over a year after living her entire life on the river. With flashlights, the guides first searched the grassy waters for the reptile's eyes. They know what direction the animal must be facing, how big the animal can be and still be safe (She's been bit four times!), and how to grasp the jaw so it doesn't bite. It truly was an amazing feat.

I feel as if I've been facing my own giants right here in Campinas. Language school is definitely one of them. Every day to begin class we read a Bible story. Not from the Bible, but a children's story book. (A bit more my speed). The scary part, though, is that after we read it together and go over vocabulary, it's time for me to recite the story back to my teacher. I dictate, she writes it on the board, then we go over my work. It's very intimidating.

This week we read about Joshua going into Canaan. Now normally, when I read my story, I'm so focused on vocabulary, verb tenses, and of course the fact that I have to retell the story myself, that I don't glean a lot of Biblical truths.

But this day I did.

It struck me as I read how Joshua and the Israelites faced the literal giants of Canaan that they had a choice. If you remember the story from Numbers, twelve spies had been sent into Canaan to see what the land was like. Ten of the spies came back and told Moses that the people who lived there were powerful, their cities fortified and large, and that the people were giants. They were certain they couldn't overtake these people.

Joshua and Caleb saw things differently. They told Moses and the people that they could take possession of the land. They must have been remembering at that moment how God brought the Israelites out of Egypt and a life of slavery. How he had performed amazing signs before them including driving back the Red Sea and giving them manna and quail to eat. He was the One who protected them, gave them strength, and who had already driven out other nations before them. These were markers in their lives. Times when they could look back and see the powerful hand of God working in their lives and know without a doubt that He is real. That He cared for them. And that He loved them.

I've realized that I have the same choice. I can look at learning Portuguese, home schooling, and keeping up with writing deadlines and run. . .or I can remember God's faithful each step of the way and trust that He will continue to be faithful in my life.

So what giants are you facing in your life today? Think of markers in your own life when you could see God’s powerful work in your life. These markers can work like anchors to help us preserve our faith and hold to our decision to follow God no matter what is happening around us.

"I can do everything through Him who gives me strength." Philippians 4:13

Be blessed today!


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