It was mid-2001. I had a newborn (my first). I was beginning to learn that the norm of motherhood is not having all the answers (or, really, any of the answers).
I had also committed to reading through the bible for the first time that year. I may have been a little optimistic in my goal setting, huh?
I got through Genesis and Exodus pretty easily – after all, they are pretty fascinating stories! Then I hit Leviticus and to be honest, I started to wonder not only about my level of commitment to this goal, but also about whether or not the Old Testament would have many lessons for my daily life. I stuck with it. And was amazed by the store of wisdom from God in those pages.
I remember happening upon the story of Jehoshaphat, King of Israel, in 2 Chronicles Chapter 20. He was one of the kings who did seek God – in fact in Chapter 19, he was described as having his heart set on God. So in Chapter 20 we find him with an opposing nation coming at him intent on war. And this verse is the one that caught my attention because it resonated with me – verse 21 – “Our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” In other words – he was crying out to God to manage this situation because he knew he couldn’t. He didn’t know what to do, so he did what he was able- he set not only his heart but his eyes on God.
Sound familiar to any of you? I have come back to this verse again and again through my years of mothering because there are so many times I don’t know what to do. Can you relate?
The amazing thing in this story is what happens next. God hears Jehoshaphat’s prayer and answers it by giving a message to Jehoshaphat through someone in his community. Verses 15-17 share what this man said to Jehoshaphat, “This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel. You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.”‘
God speaks such sweet words of encouragement to Jehoshaphat: I’ve got this. Don’t be afraid. Don’t get discouraged because you don’t know what to do. Even though the circumstances look bleak, you will get through this with my help. I won’t leave you alone.
Listen up, friends. God is speaking the same words of encouragement to you today. If you are in a place where you don’t know what to do next, it’s ok! All you have to do is set your eyes on Him. Look to Him for guidance and direction. Trust Him and He will provide.