There is a beautiful statement that has brought me great strength and hope recently. It is found in the Old Testament of the Bible in 2 Chronicles chapter 20.
King Jehoshaphat had three “ites” who were teaming up to wage war against him: the Moabites, the Ammonites and the Meunites. All of us have potentially dangerous and unnerving “ites” we are facing.
We are currently facing the threat of a “health-ite” called COVID-19. None of us know exactly how our bodies will react should we contact this virus. If our symptoms are minimal, will we spread it to someone who develops significant problems?
Many of us are facing “financial-ites.” The stock market is up and down in historic fashion. The four steepest drops in the history of the Dow Jones have happened in the last three months. Last week, the Federal Reserve gave a significantly poor outlook for the next 18 months. Low oil prices are deeply affecting the state of North Dakota. Several industries are facing great difficulties: higher education, travel, hospitality, restaurants, local and state governments, and retail to name a few.
There are other threats you may be staring at such as “family-ites.” This week high profile figures Kelly Clarkson and Rachel Hollis both announced the end of their marriages. Could the stress of this season be taking a toll on marriage and families?
We are facing significant division over racial tension, politics, re-opening, and public services. The murder of George Floyd by an on-duty policeman under the guise of doing his job is horrifying and evil. The tangential pain this act has caused is deep and wide.
We have become more skeptical about what we hear and read, who leads us and what hidden agenda may be behind someone’s actions.
There are other fears, dangers and discouragements you may be facing. Where do we turn? Who do we trust?
King Jehoshaphat stood in front of the people and said in verse 12: “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…” Can you relate to that statement? Why God? Why don’t you do something? I cannot fix this. I do not know what to do. I do not have the energy or resources. God, I am facing situations I never thought I would be facing. Yes, I can relate. My family and I have faced situations in recent months I would have never guessed.
The next word in Scripture is “but.” The word “but” always indicates a change in direction. Either the optimism is going to go up or down. King Jehoshaphat says, “BUT our eyes are on you.” Wow, do I love this.
Yep, God, there is a lot going on that I have zero answers, resources or hope in my strength, to fight my way through BUT my eyes are on you! Whatever your eyes are staring at will grow larger. Whatever your eyes are fixated on is where you heart, actions and life will move towards. My family and I are keeping our eyes on Jesus. He is the author and finisher of our faith and life!
Perhaps the blessing of this season is to train my eyes.