home about speaking she cares resources contact

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Lion King

I'm Backpacking Through Joshua today with Amber and friends.

A sick, exhausted toddler and a bursting-with-child, weary momma lay in a lumpy twin bed covered with a worn thin teddybear blanket. I rocked, lullaby-ed, prayed and willed my baby to just sleep. Just two hours. Just the two more hours until the sun comes out, I begged God.

With another new baby’s imminent arrival, we were playing fruit basket turnover in our small house. Again. Shuffling rooms, purging closets and painting was hard work, especially with sick children. But I was almost ready. I had a plan and just finding time to finish the nest was the hardest part.

I had worked diligently and tirelessly for months to get control of the house we moved into shortly after we were married. I knew things had to change before I brought our fourth child home. And since we weren’t moving into a newer, larger house with more closets, I just did things the old-fashioned way. Hard work.

My sweet mother-in-law brought me rugs, curtains and other safari themed d├ęcor to make my home a place I loved. It felt so good to replace the toddler chairs with a new sofa. I was having a ball searching for artwork and creating curtains. I was tired but the end was in sight. Oh, the feeling!

In the wee hours of the morning as I lay in that lumpy, little bed huddled snuggled under a worn thin teddybear blanket with my whiny sweet cherub cheeked toddler, my mind was blank. I was bleary from the hard labor and lack of sleep. I couldn’t find the perfect piece for a large wall in the living room due to a constraining budget. And, so I prayed.

Lord, this is exciting and tiring and oh, my babies. Help me, Lord.

And in the wee hours of early morning while lying in a lumpy, little bed under a worn thin teddybear blanket, God spoke.

Why are you so worried about your walls and your safari theme? When will you ask me to be the King of your jungle?

And the tears came. I had been so busy with my plan to take control of all the blessings God had given me I had neglected to stop and ask Him to fight the battles in my home of baby sickness, hormonal craziness and impending change.

God so gently reminded me that we are in a battle. And I must not forget.

Maybe that’s what God was trying to tell Joshua when the Israelites entered the banks of the Promised Land and the manna (God’s daily miraculous provision, remember fourth grade Sunday School?) quit coming. The people were no longer dependent on manna from heaven, they could feast off the land flowing with milk and honey.

Of course, God provided the land and gave the people the strength to work it but I think maybe, just maybe they got so caught up in all they could now do, they forgot they were living on a battlefield. They got busy doing and they quit being. They forgot whose they were.

“And then this, while Joshua was there near Jericho: He looked up and saw right in front of him a man standing, holding his drawn sword … [the]
commander of God's army.” Joshua 5:13a 714a

Joshua reverently asked what orders the commander had for him, what did God want him to do, the commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place you are standing is holy.” (verse 15) And Joshua did.

God sent the commander of His army to tell Joshua to worship, to once again remember to “stand still” in order to win the battle. (Exodus 14:14)

I think the commander was significant because he is a vivid reminder of who Joshua was and whose he was. He was a soldier. In God's army. 

Like us.

And just as it was with Joshua and his army, so it is for us. A battle is coming.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God…so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. (Ephesians 6:10-11a &13b)

Even though there were fields to plow, food to harvest and blessings to enjoy, God wanted Joshua to spend time with Him on holy ground because he knew Joshua would soon need the strength. A battle was coming.

So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. (Romans 12:1-2a The Message)


kiddo1024 said...

WOW - wow... Wow. Today has been a very strange, God showing day and I have spent time on my knees praying for Him to help me "see" what He needs me to see. AND, wow,I just got it reading your post. Thanks Lisa for this heartfelt, honest answer to prayer!

Gretchen said...

"Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him."

All melty inside after this post. You're so right. The noise of this world impinges the ability to be still and offer ourselves for Him to fill.

Awesome. xxxooo

Denise said...

Amen my friend.

Stacy@hiswaynotmine said...

How true it is! love the book of Joshua and the richness therein....the application for our everyday. Love how God speaks to his children, underneath the teddybear blanket and on the lumpy bed. He is there.

Beautiful post. Encouraged my heart today.

Much love,

His Girl said...

will be holding onto this today:

Even though there were fields to plow, food to harvest and blessings to enjoy, God wanted Joshua to spend time with Him on holy ground because he knew Joshua would soon need the strength. A battle was coming.

Anonymous said...

So simple, but so difficult to do and/or remember.

Thank you. :)

Sandy Cooper said...

Love it. Love you. I'm right there with ya.


Anonymous said...

I often need to read these reminders to stop and be still. And you did it so beautifully. (You had me right there with you and your sweet, sick little one.)

And I LOVE the way The Message says those Romans verses. I needed to re-read those today.

Thank you!