My wife and I have taken the decision to downsize. Perhaps I ought to rephrase that statement. My wife and I are being forced into downsizing as we have decided to move from a 3 bedroomed semi-detached house with a garden to a two bedroom first floor flat, no garden, but a large veranda, which will look beautiful with some of our treasured flower pots. This seems to be the opposite of what is expected, as we are constantly being forced to face the issue of size. Very occasionally I visit the well-known fast food restaurant, where I am always asked: “Would you like to go large? Where for just a few pence more you could get an extra-large serving of French fries and an “ocean-sized” soft drink. How I wish I had said “No!” and then perhaps my waist size would have down-sized much sooner. There are many self-help books that tell us that there are no problems too big or too small to overcome. More importantly, they tell us we have the ability to win; we possess the power to succeed, to overcome, with no outside help. This is not always the case. It is always easier when you have someone to lean on, someone to confide in, and someone to call when you falter.

In the House Fellowship group which I attend we have been sharing together an excellent book written by Max Lucado called “Facing Your Giants”. I’m sure most of you know the story of David and Goliath, and how David the young shepherd boy picked up five stones from a small brook and with his sling killed the giant of the Philistines, Goliath, with just one stone. We frequently use this story metaphorically. Any time we are facing a problem bigger than us, we are “facing our Goliath.” David’s Goliath was tangible – a 9-foot-tall man with super-human strength, carrying an appropriately sized spear and shield. Our Goliaths don’t carry swords or shields.They don’t prance and parade about the hills of Elah, they are up close and personal – the office, the bedroom, the classroom, even sometimes the church. You know your Goliath. You recognize his walk, the thunder of his voice. He taunts you with bills you can't pay, people you can't please, habits you can't break, failures you can't forget, and a future you can't face. But just like David, you can face your giant, even if you aren't the strongest, the smartest, the best equipped. You could read David’s story and wonder what God saw in him. He fell as often as he stood, stumbled as often as he conquered. But for those who know the sound and roar of the giant, David gives this reminder: Focus on giants - you stumble; focus on God - your giants tumble. If you're ready to face your giants, let his story inspire you. The same God who helped him will help you.

The story is told of a lady who had a small house on the seashore of Ireland at the turn of the century. She was quite wealthy but also quite frugal. The people were surprised, then, when she decided to be among the first to have electricity in her home. Several weeks after the installation, a meter reader appeared at her door. He asked if her electricity was working well, and she assured him it was. "I’m wondering if you can explain something to me," he said. "Your meter shows scarcely any usage. Are you using your power?" "Certainly," she answered. "Each evening when the sun sets, I turn on my lights just long enough to light my candles; then I turn them off."

She tapped into the power but did not use it. Her house is connected but not altered. Don’t we make the same mistake? So often we are connected but not altered. Let us trust in God, like David did when facing his giant. David used God’s power to win his battle. We need to flip the switch, and not settle for the shadows.

Stuart Grant, Chaplain,
The Limes MHA
Newport Pagnell