How To Overcome Grasshopper Syndrome

Have you ever experienced “Grasshopper Syndrome”?  I have.  The Israelites did too:

“And there we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak, who come from the Nephilim), and we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them.”  Numbers 13:33

God told Moses to send 12 spies to spy out the promised land before the Israelites entered.  Except for Caleb and Joshua the spies came back shaking in their boots. Caleb believed Israel could take the land. But the 10 spies gave a negative report. They looked at the Nephilim and then they looked at themselves. The Nephilim were bad boys. Warriors. And when the Israelites compared themselves to them they felt like grasshoppers about to get squashed.

Their problem wasn’t the Nephilim.  Their problem was they forgot to look at God. God had promised to give them the land. But instead of focusing on God, they looked at the size of their problem and their own smallness and weakness.

We can do the same thing. We can look at our gargantuan sins and feel like grasshoppers facing King Kong.  Our circumstances can look like Nephilim to us.  Marriage problems, challenges with our children, an unsaved teen, a difficult coworker, financial needs – when we fix our gaze on these things and compare them to our own pitiful resources, we can feel like grasshoppers.

The way to overcome our “grasshopper syndrome” is to lift our gaze above our challenges to our great God on his throne.

Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.  On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.  They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds, and I will declare your greatness.  Psalm 145:3-6

God is so much greater than our sins and problems – his greatness is infinite – “unsearchable.”  He does “mighty acts”, “wondrous works”and “awesome deeds.”  These are what we should declare and meditate on.

Imagine a child who suddenly bumps into the neighborhood bully on the street. The child trembles as he looks up at the bully’s massive hulk and snarling face. But suddenly the child sees his father walking up behind the bully. Now he’s no longer intimidated by the bully, because he’s shifted his gaze from the bully to his dad.

What are you focused on today? Your sin? Your circumstances? Or your God?

If you are feeling like a grasshopper today, say with David:

For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall.  Psalm 18:29

By our God we can run against troops, jump over walls, drive out Nephilim and conquer our grasshopper syndrome.  Lift up your eyes to see the greatness, majesty, power and glory of Jesus today.  He’s reigning over all.
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  • Don Henrikson

    Your blog's subtitle says "connecting God's truth to real life" – you certainly did that here. A good word to start my day. Thank you.

  • Mark Altrogge

    Sure Don! Thank you!

  • Larry

    AMEN!

    • Mark Altrogge

      Thanks Larry!

  • Sara

    Love the analogy with the bully and the father behind him. That's a great picture. Even I can feel the relief for that child!

    • Mark Altrogge

      Thank you Sara!

  • Mark Failor

    Awesome encouragement and reminder to look past our circumstances to the majesty of God! Thanks Mark!

    • Mark Altrogge

      Hey thanks Mark!

  • Caroline

    Thank you for the post Mark… very timely… had a situation at work where my temptation was to look at the problem and not at God.. To always remember that God is bigger than all the problems and bullies! He is our Father and Protector :) Thanks again!

    • Mark Altrogge

      Hi Caroline,

      I’m grateful Lord would encourage you through the post – thanks for letting me know!

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