The year 2020 was difficult one for all of us, but for my family, it wasn’t only due to a global pandemic or waves of social distancing and lockdowns, but of loss.
In April 2020, my grandma passed away. And then in July we lost an uncle. In November, another uncle passed and on Christmas Day, my sweet mother-in-law passed away.
2021 began calm. But in May, we went to Florida on a family vacation and my wife went into labor and delivered our son ten weeks early. We spent almost six weeks in the NICU with him—in Florida—not the kind of extended vacation anyone would plan.
The past year or so has thrown our family into crisis mode. Recently I realized I have been trying to control all the uncontrollable events in my life—the crisis things.
What does your crisis look like?
We all have things in our life we try to handle on our own. It’s the American way, right? We can’t let anyone know that we’re struggling. Our pride often keeps us from turning to the Lord until there are no other options.
The story of Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, in 2 Chronicles 20 is a great example of how we should handle any crisis that may come our way.
The Moabites, Ammonites, and Meunites had built an army to wage a war against Jehoshaphat. So, Jehoshaphat proclaimed a fast for all of Judah. The Bible says he, “resolved to inquire of the Lord.”
So, we have the person, we have the crisis, and now we see how he was handling the crisis. He sought the Lord. In fact, verses 4 and 5 tell us that all the people from every town in Judah came together and, in the assembly, Jehoshaphat stood up and prayed.
Jehoshaphat spoke of what God had done, and made his request known. Here is what I want to point out. At the end of Jehoshaphat’s prayer, he says in verse 12, “O our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.”
All pride is set aside, and his faith is put in the Lord.
Then the spirit of the Lord came upon them and he says halfway through verse 15,“Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” Then in verse 17 again we hear, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
It goes on to say in 17, “Go out and face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.” If you read through the rest of chapter 20 you will see how the Lord worked to defeat the army that was formed against Jehoshaphat and how God moved to deliver the kingdom of Jehoshaphat to a time of peace and rest.
It is our nature to want to be in control. In my life, I can tell you that that desire to be in the driver’s seat only leads to severe anxiety and often to a place where there seems to be no hope. It’s only when we can say, “God, I do not know what to do, but my eyes are upon you,” are we able to begin the process of giving the Lord full control, knowing that we can face tomorrow because He is with us.