Today I am going to tell you the story of a young girl named Tracy. Since young she always worked hard to achieve her goals, to be the best she could be. Although her childhood was far from perfect, she strived to not settle for what she knew but to move towards a better life. She went on to accomplish many of her goals, graduating with the highest of honors, receiving a scholarship to a prestigious University, receiving an MBA degree. It didn’t matter the obstacles Tracy faced along the way she always picked herself back up to keep marching to her goal.
Now a top executive at a finance firm, married with two beautiful teen daughters and a lovely home, Tracy finds herself in front of a doctor. The news she receives shakes her up to her very core. The doctors have informed her she has early signs of cancer in her cervix. Distraught Tracy, gets up and tells the doctors she’s ready to do whatever it takes to beat this. Nothing was going to keep her from continuing to move up in life. A few weeks after receiving her diagnoses, the firm she has been working for the last 10 years has decides that it needs to downsize and layoff some of their employees. Meaning an increase to Tracy’s workload and responsibility, having to oversee 2 other departments. But Tracy continues to power through and take it on, regardless of what she is facing personally.
A couple of months pass by and Tracy finds herself overwhelmed, fatigued and stressed out. The chemotherapy is hitting her harder than she expected and the workload at the firm seems to continue to pile up. Her loving husband, who has also been experiencing a loss of financial income due to some changes at his job, advices Tracy to step down from work until she gets better. He assures her that he will try his best to fill the financial void with a secondary job but Tracy is hesitant of the idea. That evening, as they were have dinner her husband receives a frantic call from one of their daughters informing him that her sister had been a terrible car accident and was being rushed to the hospital. Hearing the news, Tracy collapses on the floor with tears streaming endlessly down her face and screams. She shouts to the skies “Why is this happening? Why God? What did I do to deserve all of this?”
Like Tracy, many of us have found ourselves in moments like this in life where there seems to be no end to the problems. Everything that can go bad goes bad. We feel surrounded with battles on every side of us, and its like we can’t catch a break. We try our best to tackle them but its like the more we try to solve it, the worse things get. Oh man, have I been there!
In the Bible there is a story about King Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah (2 Chronicles 20). They too, like Tracy, find themselves surrounded by troubles on every side. Their enemies have gotten together to declare war against Jehoshaphat. Terrified with the news, what Jehoshaphat does next reveals to me the attitude and approach we should take when we find ourselves surrounded by troubles on all sides.
At hearing the news that terrified him, he orders his people to join him in prayer and fasting in order to seek the guidance of God. How many of us complain, talk about our problems with others, seek their guidance first, than getting into prayer and fasting? How many of us start planning a strategy before even asking God for His guidance? A lot of us do that, I am definitely guilty of that. Jehoshaphat with the people of Judah begin to pray (2 Chron 20: 6-9 NLT), now his prayer doesn’t starts with his needs and wants, but he comes in an attitude and approach of reverence and remembrance. He prays about who God is, what He has done and has promised to do. We often times forget that, we just go into prayer asking Him for our wants, as if he were a genie granting a wish. Now God doesn’t need you to remind Him of who He is, no, He already knows that. But it’s to remind ourselves of who He is, its declaring that we believe in Him, what He has done and promised to do.
God responses to Jehoshaphat’s prayer, but it wasn’t a mighty voice descending from the skies, but it came from a Levite who was in the crowd of people who were praying and fasting with Jehoshaphat. God will often times use someone to speak through to you. Don’t shut others out in trials. If you’re like me, we have a tendency to isolate ourselves in trails but that’s when we need community the most. To remind us of God’s faithfulness, to pray with and for us, to stand beside us in the times when we can’t seem to get up. Life is not meant to be done alone, and the answer you’ve probably have been looking for might just be in the voice of another.
The response God gives, tells them to not be afraid or discouraged, for the battle is not theirs but God’s. He instructs them march out the next day against the enemy. He lets them know they will see their enemy but they will not need to fight. God tells them to take their positions; then stand still and they will see Him give them the victory. Jehoshaphat bows down and begins to worship at hearing what God has said. Early the next day the army of Judah go out to face their enemy as God had instructed them too. Jehoshaphat tells the people to believe and they will be able to stand firm, and then instructs singers to walk ahead singing and praising to the Lord. When they began to march and sing, the Lord caused the enemy armies to start fighting each other. When the army of Judah arrived to face their enemy all they found were dead bodies and so they continued to praise God for the victory He had given His people. Many times we praise Him after the deliverance and miracle, but Jehoshaphat shows us to praise Him before, during and after.
Like God told the people of Judah, He is telling us today not be afraid, or discouraged by everything that seems to be going wrong around us, the battle is not ours to fight but His. He will give us the victory. That doesn’t mean we sit back and wait, but we still show up and take our positions on the battle field. That means we still show up to work everyday and do our part. We show up to the treatment for our health condition, we show up at home but standing still knowing God has already given us the victory. It’s not in an attitude of trying to figure out the when, where, and how but in an attitude of reverence, remembrance and praise that our God has it under control.
Thank you for reading this little piece of my journal. I hope you felt encouraged! If you liked this message, please press the like button below. Also share with your friends, don’t keep this message to yourself trust me someone out there needs it!