I have likened my time with Charles Swindoll to relaxing with a good cup of coffee. Tension dissipates, peace envelops me. My mind and my body shuffle off the pains of the world and it is a time for me to focus on right Christian living and attitudes. I just finished reading an older Swindoll work called Killing Giants, Pulling Thorns. In this book, a very quick read, the focus is on challenges that we face in life, both big and small, that affect our lives, that needlessly pull us down. The Giants include fear, bitterness, jealousy, lust, depression, loneliness, resentment, grief, pain, procrastination, and rumor. The thorns include comparison, expectations, pessimism, habits, cliches, superstition, busyness, erosion, apprehension, impatience, and pharisaism.
Giants are big things that defy domination. Thorns are little things that prick, penetrate, and poison. Big or small, we need to find a way to put them in perspective and then take control. Our weakness is always aided by God's strength, our poverty is always removed with God's gift, and our brokenness is healed over by God's love.
This book probably connected as deeply as it did with me given my current place in life. I also happened to be reading it outdoors on the first day of spring. The weather was absolutely perfect and I was able to look up between paragraphs and thoughts and watch my daughter at her lacrosse game. Just seeing carefree young people enjoying life to the fullest is soothing and uplifting. It can tend to soften even the hardest of inflictions. It can make the biggest giants shrink to manageable size and can make the most painful thorns endurable.