The Grasshopper Syndrome
by Carol Yasin
One of the great challenges in our life is to see things in God’s perspective and stop seeing it from our view. Each one of us has that challenge to visualize our life in line with God. And our decisions depends on how we focus on it and many times the decisions are crossroads. We need to get hold of our decisions seriously as we cannot reverse what we have taken.
Today, let us look into the story of Israelites. They were brought out of the land of Egypt by God and they witnessed how God has been miraculously leading them to the Promise Land. And when they finally arrived at the border of the land, they faced a big challenge blocking their way into the Promised Land. What was that? We will learn from the story of the Israelites and how are we facing the same today!
Shammua, Shaphat, Igal, Palti, Geul, Gaddiel, Gaddi, Ammiel, Suthur, Nahbi….. Have you ever heard these names before? Does it sound familiar to you? No! Have you heard of Joshua and Caleb? Now you might relate to the people I am referring to. Those were the names of the ten spies who got into the Canaan to spy the land. They came back with the negative report scaring the Children of Israel and influencing them to disobey God’s instruction to enter into Canaan and possess the land. Only Joshua and Caleb came up with the positive report. God has already given the land of Canaan to the children of Israel. God has promised them and the only thing the people of Israel has to do is, go into the land and possess it. They have to just claim the land which was already provided by the Lord.
Read Numbers 13:27 – 28:
Then they told him, and said: “We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. Nevertheless the people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and very large; moreover we saw the descendants of Anak there.
The ten spies first acknowledged that what God was about to give us is indeed a land of milk and honey. And their report followed a ‘but’ clause. But we cannot claim it as the people living in it were giants...
In verse 33, the spies say, “we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight” God knows already that these people living in Canaan were giants. He didn’t ask for the report. The problem is, they focussed on themselves instead of focussing on the promises of God. They have seen the plagues in Egypt. They have seen the Lord bringing them out of Egypt. They have seen the Lord parting the red sea for them. They have seen God providing them food in the desert. But still…
And we too sometimes, fall into the same category. We have seen God leading us miraculously in our life. But nevertheless, when we face a problem we get discouraged seeing the giants before us and forgetting the God who is greater than others. We sometimes get the ‘Grasshopper syndrome’ and we stop from proceeding further. Have you ever been felt this way? Are there areas of your life where you have not yet lived by faith because you fear what seems difficult or impossible by your own abilities or resources?
In this incident, there were two persons who gave a positive report as they had faith in God.
Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.” (Numbers 13:30)
Caleb and Joshua focussed on the words of God and had a desire to obey it and their confidence was in doing the God’s will. (Numbers 14:8-9)
There were two reports from the 12 spies and sadly, the Israelites murmured against God heeding their ear to the 10 spies who gave a pessimistic report.
This is what the grasshopper syndrome does. Many times, I have failed to carry out the task given by the God only because of the fear to face the challenge. When God gives us a task to do, He has already prepared us for that task. But, unfortunately, we behave like the Israelites seeing the giants before us.
Now, these are the symptoms of the ‘Grasshopper Syndrome’:
1. Doubted heart:
In spite of the God’s promised words to the Israelites, they always had a doubt in their heart always looking the positive as negative. They had witnessed God’s doing in their physical eyes. They have been overshadowed by the cloud by day and warmed by the pillar of fire at night. Besides seeing these things, they have a doubted heart. When things do not come out the way we hoped for, we start doubting and we lose our trust in God.
See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.
2. Double minded:
If you have noticed the Grasshoppers, they keep on hopping from one place to place rather than sitting in one place. And the same does our mind. It keeps wandering from place to place without being steady. Hence, it is easier for the devil to attack our mind if it is not kept steady. When this syndrome affects us, we just can’t focus on the promises of God. Though we see the things that God has done in our life, the next minute, fear fills our mind thinking about our future and the failures in the past. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I was filled with happiness as God has promised us with so many things about her. At times, I would be happy and suddenly, a fear would fill my mind thinking about the stillborn child in the previous pregnancy. That’s how the devil plays with our mind trying to make us believe that, God’s promised would fail which is a total lie. The Grasshopper syndrome causes us to doubt God’s word and His faithfulness. Instead of acting like children of the king, we live as if we were paupers unable to fulfill God’s will. We lack faith, are double minded and unaware of who we really are in Christ.
but let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let, not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
3. Inferiority Complex:
See what the ten spies said. They reported that “we look like grasshoppers”. And that’s what the Satan does. He tries to convince us that we are unworthy and make us believe that he is stronger than us. I remember the day when I started writing for God. The first thing that Satan tried to implant in my mind was, “my writings are not good and I am unfit to write”. If I have heard those voices in my mind, I would have stopped writing and penning it down what God wants me to. This syndrome will always make us feel inferior to others and try to destroy our self-image in God.
So, what should we do if we are affected by this syndrome?
First thing is we need to heed our ears to the positive reports from God as Joshua and Caleb did. Remember that they are the only two people from their generation to enter into the promise land.
The second thing is we need to remember that the battle starts from our mind. The areas of our thoughts are the main battleground. That’s why Paul asks us to renew our mind in God (Romans 12:2)
Thirdly, remember that God has already provided us the weapons to win on the battlefield. We need to just use our weapons to fight against the enemy instead of looking them as giants and staying out of the Promised Land. So, what are these weapons? It is none other than the Word of God. Paul says about the armor of God in Ephesians. We are instructed to ‘Take the sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God.’ (Ephesians 6:17)
We know the outcome of the disobedience of Israel. Instead of entering into the Promised Land, they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. In our life as well, when we are reluctant and fail to battle the giants we face, we end up in wandering in the spiritual wilderness. The Israelites, by running away from the giants, didn’t escape from them. Once the generation of disobedience died, they came and stood at the same point to face the same giants to enter into the Promised Land. So friends, instead of running away from the giants we are facing, stay strong and face them and they are not greater than the One who is living in us. Yes, we cannot win the battle alone. But when the Captain of our ship is our God, we are on the victory side.
Friends, I don’t know what giants you are facing in your life today. It might be fear, depression, discouragement, loneliness, bitterness, weakness, health issues, and financial problems. Whatever it is, remember, it is not bigger than our God. He is Greater than everything. When you are on God’s side, you can determine who the grasshopper is! 🙂 Only thing is “The CHOICE is YOURS”. It is time for us to stand up and confront the giants and win the battle. God bless!