Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Giants Of Life And Faith

Fear. Of death, spread of disease, appointments, tests, results, dying, angst, ourselves, people, reactions, our loved ones' fears that they project onto us because they fear what's happening to us and what that means for them. The list of our fears seems endless and they can stem from each other and feed off of each other.

Financial burdens. Bankruptcy, depleted savings, second or third jobs, having to retire early or quit due to health, dipping into retirement fund, climbing medical bills, possible loss of insurance, no insurance, selling off items, cutting out expenses, cutting back where able. The dreams we'll shelve and the plans we'll table seem endless, yet are often necessary to temporarily cut loose while we pursue the larger dream of living.

Anger. At everyone and everything. At God, life, the past we can't relive differently and the present we can't change and the future we may not see and certainly won't be what we planned if we do see it, at death, at ourselves. The anger we wish we didn't feel and often try to deny because we think people of faith can feel anything but we're not supposed to feel anger so we get angry about being angry.

Grief. Over changes we have no control over. Over circumstances, plans that won't materialize, lives that won't be lived as planned, hopes and dreams that become hopeless and nightmares, facing our mortality, facing the mortality of those we love. Grief has no age limit, no matter how we look at it or from what end of the spectrum. 

Pity. Pity from others. Self-pity. Pity parties. We don't like "fear." We don't like being "angry." We step up and deal with the financial challenges as best we can. But don't give us pity. And when we take a few minutes off to throw ourselves a pity party, it's a table for one, and when we've had enough, we need a bouncer to come forward and call us on it and toss us out. That's the person we need when self pity rears its ugly head, not someone to pull up a chair and help us drown our sorrows.

Fear. Financial burdens. Anger. Grief. Pity. All are giants we may face in life. But when life includes a challenging disease like cancer or a chronic condition, we are more than likely going to face all of them at once at some point.

So let's acknowledge them. When we do that that's the first step in facing them. And face them we must because they're there, they aren't going anywhere and we render them less powerful when we turn and face them instead of trying to ignore them, hide from them, or run from them. Some come at us from within and some come at us from without.

Some giants we must determine to push through and some we will decide to knock down to size so they are more manageable. These aren't giants we can kill for they are emotional, spiritual, psychological. But though they are giants, they are not bigger than God. When we can't push through or knock them down to size, God is more than able.

I live in a world where I am privileged to watch people live with giants in the room and they go about their business because they must. The giants may seem larger than life but life must be lived and giants come and go but life can't be jarred and stored for a while until we're ready to face it.

Breath must be taken, steps must be made, bodies must be fed, bills must be paid, life goes on and life demands to be lived. Even when we're weighed down by giants.

I've watched breathless as friends haul their giants with them and they get out of bed, open a new business, live an old dream, walk down the aisle, enlarge their family, go back to school, get a new job, keep playing and doing, face the appointments, make the decisions; and some friends live while they're dying because they know their giants and death don't have the final word.

See, I listed some giants we lug around, have to turn and face, must push through or knock down to size. Those are giants that come with life. But there are other giants. Giants that we, people of faith, choose and they are bigger than the giants of life.

Hope. Faith. Belief. Trust. Love. Prayer. Each other. Knowledge we aren't alone. Scripture. Song. Praise. Family. Friends. Memories. Angels. God.

These are the giants we look up to, rely on, and embrace. We face them gladly. We rush to them. And we don't want to knock them down to size because we need them to be larger than life for it is in these giants that we find our life.

The giants of life are no match for the giants of faith.

We all live with giants. It's how we live with them that matters.

There are giants we have no control over and do not choose. Those are the giants of life.

And then there are the giants of faith, God being the most Giant of them all.

God is bigger than our other giants of faith and God is definitely bigger than the giants of life.

As we carry around life's giants of all kinds, may we look beyond the giants our eyes see at work and turn our eyes of faith toward the giants of faith and see God at work

and be grateful that God has the last word over all.