“When the Giants Fall” by Katie Taylor
“I wanna play too!” my four-year-old son, John, blurted out as I signed his big sister in for the tennis clinic.
“Remember, I played once with daddy, and I’m really good.” Even though they had only played for about ten minutes, his confidence was exuberant. When I said yes, he ran full-speed ahead to the courts.
John was the youngest kid in the six-and-under clinic, and also the smallest. But that didn’t stop him from hitting the ball over the net. I watched in amazement as his confidence and skill collided. He is usually a quieter kid, but he was completely out of his shell on the court. The spark in him was visible.
Half way through the clinic, he walked over to me and said he just wanted to watch. I asked him why and he just looked at his shoes. I could tell by his lip that he was about to cry.
“Hey John…did somebody hurt your feelings?”
“Ummmm…yeah. That boy called me a baby, and he told me I was…little.” He was so upset, he could hardly get the words out.
I tried to encourage him, and he finished the clinic. But he was crushed.
The next week, we talked through it:
We talked about how his being the smallest was actually a strength. The fact that he could hit like the six-year-olds was awesome at age four. We talked about how satan wants us to see things as weaknesses, but they are a place for God’s power to be made perfect.
We talked about who John is in Christ and how accusations of smallness are a lie in light of that identity.
We talked about how our enemy is not flesh and blood, but powers of darkness, and we prayed for the boy who hurt him. We talked about the power of words, and how to use ours carefully.
We talked about the story of David and how when God chose him to be king, He didn’t look at the outside appearance, but at David’s heart. Samuel passed over the older, bigger brothers and anointed David, the littlest one, to be a mighty king. Then we talked about John’s mighty heart.
I honestly thought by encouraging John in these things that he would be fine when we returned the next week. I was unprepared for what happened.
The moment he saw the boy who called him a baby, he burst into tears. He didn’t play an ounce of tennis. He didn’t even pick up his racket. He crawled on my lap and cried…like a baby.
The crazy thing about the accusations that come to us is that when we believe them, we begin to act as if they’re true. And we find ourselves sitting on the sidelines, paralyzed from using our gifts.
I suddenly realized my parenting abilities were not going to get John through this. My best efforts of encouragement were not enough. We needed the Lord to break through the lie in John’s heart, and only He could.
So as a family we prayed for John, with him and over him. God was already on the move and provided me with a prayer group of moms of sons who came together this summer to intentionally pray for our boys. They prayed for him as well.
One of them sent me this song “Giant’s Fall” to share with him. Our family listened over and over, and sang it on the way to the courts the next week:
Don’t you be afraid
Of giants in your way
With God you know that anything’s possible
So step into the fight
He’s right there by your side
The stones inside your hand might be too small
But watch the giants fall!
We were elated to see John walk onto the court with his head held high. We told him we were there to step in at any time if he needed us. As that kid approached John again, I felt my posture change like a lioness about to pounce! His older sister shifted closer toward them on the court. But on his own, John gracefully and confidently stood up to the boy who called him a baby again. Then, he hit the ball with focus.
He looked over after the confrontation and gave us a thumbs up. But it wasn’t me he was looking at; there was someone else who came to watch. Someone who loves John so much he rearranged his day to be at the tennis clinic.
His daddy, the one who taught him to play, was there. His daddy, the champion tennis player in whose image John is made, was calmly watching on John’s side. John was little on his own, but with his dad there, he had enormous strength, and he knew it. The giant in his way was tiny compared to Will.
The moment was a beautiful picture of what happens when we know that our Daddy is with us. Our enemy may be unseen, and our Heavenly Daddy may be too. But when we know He’s with us and has our back…like David and like John…we watch the giants fall.
Father God, as the children in our city begin this school year, we pray that they enter into this new season knowing that You, their Heavenly Daddy, is there with them. As they encounter giants who try to shut them down, we pray they know that You will fight for them, and the giants they face are small compared to You. We pray for them to use their words carefully and be able to extend grace to those who have hurt them. We pray for the children in our city to grasp how loved, cherished and protected they are as Your sons and daughters. Raise up a generation of warriors for Your Kingdom. In the mighty name of Jesus. Amen
Written by~Katie Taylor