2 Chronicles 20:20-23
This passage always amazes me, similar to the fall of the tower of Jericho. The people of God went into a fierce battle and as they entered, they simply declared thanksgiving to God and how His love endures… forever. In that moment of worship, the enemy went into chaos attacking one another until the battle was defeated.
I too often look for ways to fight; I am ready and prepared, feeling as if I HAVE to fight. I have to defend myself and have to be on the offensive, both at the same time. Life has taught me to be prepared for battles and that fighting is a necessity. If you don’t fight for yourself, who will? If you don’t defend yourself, who will? As silly as driving do I feel the need to constantly be prepared. I am fully aware of the other vehicles and drivers with a mindset that they will crash into me, and so I must be ready at any moment to veer my vehicle safely away to avoid any attacks (this has actually saved me multiple times). I have been taught this by life. That’s just the way it is.
And yet I’m left dumbfounded by this passage. How is it that a whole nation of people could simply praise and leave the battle in God’s hands? Yes, leaving the battle in God’s hands is a powerful theme over and over in the bible, but come on, is that really realistic for this day and age? But if I pause and compare my battle of avoiding poor drivers on the road to the battle of defending this nation’s heritage, land, women, children, supplies… well, then, my battle seems small. How is it I am so unable to trust in God to be still and simply worship?
Because, that’s just the way it is. Life has taught me that when you sit still, you look incompetent. You look like you have nothing else to do or you just don’t know better. As silly as the daily work force do I feel the need to constantly be moving. No, I have to prepare myself to look busy, feel busy, be busy. I look at those who leisurely take their time to make decisions or get tasks done and a pang of disgust fills my mouth. Do they not know better? And then I growl out the distasteful sentence, “what is wrong with them?”.
And yet I hear this God whisper, “be still and know that I am God”. It’s not a command to simply be still. But be still and know. That in my stillness, I can remain still, if I hold onto the knowledge of who He is. That’s the reassurance. He’s not beckoning me to just lay down defeated and lazy. There is an imperative to fill my mind with truth. As I reflect on that, it makes sense that it all comes down to trust. Why can’t I trust?
Because that’s just the way it is. I have too little time to prepare. I have to hoard my resources, grab any provisions I can and run. I need to fill my home with anything and everything. Freebies? Grab bags? Hand me downs? Give them to me! Who knows when I’ll run out of funds or resources or food, I need to stock up on what I can now. I need to make sure I have enough, will always have enough. I need to re-budget over and over again and make sure I’ve got mine. Any moment it can get taken away. Any moment I could run out. Any moment I can be found… impoverished.
And yet the old words of seeking first His kingdom sing song in my head. I’m reminded I have never been found wanting or in need. In fact, the seasons when I have strived less and trusted more were the seasons I felt most full and wealthy. The big prayers I have tried to answer on my own were the ones that were answered when I simply said, “Okay God, You got this, not me, right?”. The miracles I yearned for were completed by Him, not me.
As I finished my journaling this morning on this particular passage, I look at the word the people of God declared in battle: “Give thanks to the Lord, for His love endures forever.” A beautiful declaration. I look down at my journal, pages already filled with bible verses by the editor to inspire journaling. And the verse at the top of today’s page? “Oh, give thanks to the Lord for He is good! His mercies endure forever.” I’m slightly dumbfounded but then regain composure. Why would I be surprised? God fought for and prepared and provided this message for me well in advance for this particular morning.
Because that’s just the way it is.