I come from a line of giants.
No, we're not the towering type -- no prodigious proportions or stately statures in our family tree that I can think of. But I often reflect upon the character and nature of those who've gone before me, and I can't help but find inspiration because...they were giants. Giants of the faith, that is.
Faithful men and women who loom large in my heart and mind because of who they remind me of...
God. And I know this: they wouldn't consider themselves to be giants at all. Their only hope was/has been/is to be faithful, and to serve the Lord with their whole hearts...But somewhere along the line, they grew to be bigger than they probably realized. Giants.
And, really, this line of giants goes back way further through the annals of history. We see the examples of the faithful both named and unnamed who dedicated their lives to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and were used to carry the torch, pass the baton, and advance the Kingdom of God in this world. Hebrews 11 comes to mind.
We can look all the way back to Abram who "believed the Lord, and it was credited to him as righteousness" (Genesis 15:6), Noah, who "was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God" (Genesis 6:9), and Abel, who "was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings." (Hebrews 11:4)
These are giants of the faith.
As I think about my own self in light of both my history and my aspirations, I, too, would like to be a giant. Psalms 1:1-3 says, "Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers."
Similarly, Jeremiah 17:7-8 says this:
"But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit."
Like a healthy, well-watered, deep-rooted tree, giants are blessed. They are godly. And they can be, even in the midst of a wicked, sinful generation, because they are well-nurtured in the Word of God. Giants stand strong. They put all their confidence in the Lord, don't fear, don't suffer from a blight of the soul, and bear lots and lots of fruit. I have been so blessed to be the daughter and granddaughter of men and women like that. Not everyone has that privilege, but I know what a giant looks like. I know how they weather storms. I know from watching that it's worth it to do the things it takes to grow strong and steady over time. And that's why I want to become one. This blog is about cultivating the soul in such a way that it becomes fertile ground for the Holy Spirit to do the amazing work of growing the tree & bringing forth fruit that glorifies God.
When my Grandma Bunn went to be with the Lord, I remember how I reflected at that time on the fruit that grew in her life. As a certain sort of youthful beauty faded and she succumbed to the inevitable challenges of growing older, the fruit that only grows of the Spirit became increasingly prominent. Despite tremendous physical challenges, she faithfully witnessed to everyone around her to the goodness of the Lord and His constant working in her life. She turned to Him with both praise and prayer as naturally as breathing. In her final days, it seemed the distance between heaven and earth shortened, and the language of heaven itself flowed freely from her tongue.
She bore much good fruit.
I stood at her funeral and commented on this phenomenon. Only the Holy Spirit can make fruit grow. Indeed, even the tree itself grows by the grace of God!
And how He loves to grow it! But scripture indicates He particularly loves to grow it in a certain type -- 2 Chronicles 16:9 says,
"For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him."
God is looking for hearts fully committed to Him whom He can strengthen -- sanctifying and maturing His people so that He might bring to completion the good work already begun. (Philippians 1:6)
This strength is not just for ourselves, but it is the strength to nurture others toward godliness. An arboriculturist would call it "reproduction." A pastor would call it "discipleship." So I'm going to take whatever God gives me and use it to cultivate giants around me. I want my home to be full of them. My church. My community. Lest I be the last in this line of giants.
To God be the glory!