Facing the giants who drain joy from our lives

By Debra Whittington

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

I love to watch movies and have a few that I can watch over and over. Each time I see them they are fresh and new all over again. I am even able to quote dialogue from some of my favorite movies like the classic Christmas movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”. Despite watching it numerous times, I still cry at the end. Today, it is more difficult to find movies like that, however every once in a while a movie comes along that has a tremendous impact on me.

I am not a movie critic and this column isn’t designed for movie reviews, but there is a movie I recently saw that I just had to share with the readers. The movie is “Facing the Giants” and was produced by a church in Georgia. There are no big name stars, but the characters are just like people I know in real life. While on the surface it appears to be a movie about football it is actually a movie dealing with facing adversity in life.

It is the story of a high school football coach, his wife, the players, and the community. The football team is starting another losing season and it looks like the coach might even lose his job. At home the struggles continue, as the coach and his wife are unable to have the children they always wanted. The students at school are apathetic and the players on the team don’t apply themselves, as they should. Everyone’s world seems to be spiraling downward and everyone’s life appears hopeless.

When all seems lost, the tone of the movie changes. Through prayer and intense study in the scriptures, the coach takes on a new outlook and challenges his players to join him. He decides he is going to give God his best and praise Him if the team wins and praise Him if the team loses.

Without giving the movie away for those who have yet to see it I can say that things begin to change. The first step was to face the giants of discouragement, apathy, self-defeat, and many other negative attitudes. Many of the circumstances didn’t change overnight, but with a positive attitude of praising God there were changes.
Each of us face some sort of a giant in our lives that threaten our joy in the Lord. I could identify with the coach’s wife because I too faced devastating news of being told I couldn’t have children of my own. While Mark and I don’t have any children of our own, the children of our friends bring us so much joy. We were blessed to be included in their lives as they grew up. We jokingly say we borrow these kids, spoil them, and then send them home to their parents. We are even now seeing these children we watched grow up who are now having children of their own.

Another giant some face is giving up and quitting. When life gets tough it is sometimes easier to just quit and try something else. It is easy to give up, but it takes great courage to keep going. I know myself when I am walking in the mornings there are times I don’t feel like walking and I have to set a small goal of walking a short distance and when I achieve that goal I set another one. On the days that I am feeling the worst this has enabled me to complete my walk.

Finally, there are times when our world seems to be crashing in on us and despite our best efforts; we experience some sort of defeat. In those times when everything seems to be against us we can rest assured that our awesome God is always there to see us through the most devastating circumstances.

My favorite movies have a happy ending despite the trials the characters face during the course of the story. The same can be said about life that even though there are great trials during the course of our days we have the promise of the Lord as stated in Romans 8:28. We can be assured that no matter how big the giants we face in life might be that in the end the Lord will work it out for our good. Now that is what I call a happy ending.

PS: First Baptist Church will show the movie, “Facing the Giants” on April 13 at 7 p.m. in the church sanctuary. The movie is free of charge. I plan to see the movie again for the third time.