Trusting God is not always easy. It’s been almost a month since our country began quarantine. The question we’re all asking is, “When will this be over?”
We could handle this better if we just knew how long. Right? That’s the hardest part, the not knowing. I’ve lived through this struggle as a military wife many times. Deployment never had a neat and tidy end-date. The truth is, it never got easier. I did learn one valuable lesson, however, and that was to find my marching rhythm while Mike fought for our country.
A Key to My Marching Rhythm
My kids were all under the age of ten. Two attended school while the baby played at home with me. I was a stay-at-home soldier. While my man fought battles (or kept peace) in foreign lands, I did the same at home. We had our system, our daily agenda and schedule. Though I’m not a super, scheduled person, when you’re fighting a war, you need a plan. At the heart of my plan, the key to my march, and my peace was Bible study.
Mornings were too chaotic to spend time with the Lord, so nap time, while Drew slept (if I didn’t fall asleep with him), I tip-toed downstairs to the dining room table, lit a candle, poured my coffee, and dug into the Word of God. Quiet afternoons are still some of my favorite parts of the day. There’s nothing like a sleeping house.
God’s Word Gave Me Peace and Order
During those treasured afternoon hours, God’s Truth strengthened me. If you haven’t experienced this, it’s hard for me to explain. Yet, the Bible is not just an old book. If you get still long enough, and hush all the noise around you, if you do more than read it, but begin to look up what words mean and dig for commentary on passages you don’t understand, you may experience how this ancient text can breathe in your hands. It truly is alive and active. It awakens our spirits, convicts, heals, and feeds our hungry souls.
If you are a mom home with school age children all day long now, and you’re struggling with this forced homeschooling, find your rhythm by designating an entire household quiet time. If possible, send the kids to their rooms with a book, or a craft, or whatever may keep them occupied for forty-five minutes. You are not allowed to clean house during this time. Find your special place in your home, gather your journal, Bible, and the Bite of Bread reading plan, and spend time with the Lord. You know, it’s hard to trust someone you don’t know. Daily time in the Lord’s Word is how we get to know His heart.
This works for grandmothers too. I know a few of you who are raising your grandchildren and some who have their grandchildren while their parents fight the war against the coronavirus as health care workers and first-responders. Our prayers go out to you. Your job is not easy.
Play Worship (Warship) Music
Another thing I did during those hard days (and I am doing now) is intentionally play Christian radio stations or stream my favorite Worship bands and artists. Ya’ll, this is war. We are in a spiritual battle. Turn off the television. Get off Facebook, and play music of praise, and trust God’s goodness and faithfulness. Sing out loud. Dance with your hands raised. Be a mighty warrior of God with your praise. When you drive to the grocery, turn off the news, and turn on K-LOVE or if you live in Wilmington, LIFE 90.5. Roll down the windows and sing loudly! Give a good shout to the Lord! Give a good long shout like the Israelites did at the walls of Jericho. Remember what happened there?
When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.”Joshua 6:5
And they did. If you struggle trusting God, start praising Him. Make it a sacrifice of praise. My life changed when I learned how important worshiping God 24/7 was. It’s the only way to march in battle.
Hannah Whitall Smith wrote,
“The ‘loud shout out’ of steadfast faith is the exact opposite of the groans of wavering faith and the complaints of discouraged hearts . . . . No one would believe that a shout could cause city walls to fall. Yet the secret of their victory lay precisely in just that shout, for it as the shout of faith. And it was a faith that dared to claim a promise victory solely on the basis of God’s Word, even though there were no physical signs of fulfillment.”Streams in the Desert, September 4
Scriptures to Help You Trust, Worship, and March
Hannah’s words pack a punch. Man, oh man, that will preach! Their ‘loud shout’ was a “faith that dared to claim a promise victory solely on the basis of God’s Word.” Somebody say, “Hallelujah!” How I wish I could grab your hands as my good friend Jan Doke did for me one day years ago and say, “Sing, my friend, sing!” And I would add, “And study, my friend, study! Get to know the God you can trust!”
So, speaking of studying the Bible, print off the Bite of Bread Bible reading plan for this week, schedule a daily quiet time in your house, and let God’s Word strengthen you. Rather than prompts, I’ve given you Word Studies. I pray this will help you discover the life in the Word.
Psalm 150:1-2 ESV
Praise the LORD! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness!
Word Study: The word “LORD” has been translated from the Hebrew name Yah. This word was a contraction of the name YHWH (Yahweh). I love the thought of calling God Yah. It’s endearing to me. Less formal. But more than that, YHWH is the covenant name of the relational God. Underline the word covenant and relational. Do your own study of those words and write down what they tell us about Yah.
Revelation 4:11 ESV
“Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”
Word Study: ” Will” comes from a Greek word that denotes, “an expression or inclination of pleasure; a want or desire which pleases or creates joy” (Key Word Study Bible NIV 1631). Does knowing creating us gave God delight and joy make you want to praise God more? Write down what this means to you.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, …
Word Study: “Strong” comes from a Greek word that means “making something strong, be strengthened.” So, Paul is not commanding the believers to be strong, but to let God strengthen them with His strength and power. How do we let God strengthen us? How does this affect how you handle your circumstances?
For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,
Word Study: Strongholds were tiny caves in the side of a mountain. They were where soldiers would hide for protection and advantage from the enemy. Read these verses several times. What strongholds is Paul referring to, and how do we destroy them?
Psalm 95:6 ESV
Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!
Prompt: When was the last time you knelt in prayer? Try kneeling (if you can) every morning this week in prayer. Praise Him for being the covenant giving Creator.
Psalm 59:16 ESV
But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress.
Word Study: “Love” was translated from chesed. This word is more than love. It is merciful acts of loving-kindness bound by a covenant. His chesed is steadfast. Write down the many things, all the chesed God has shown you. This will be your safe place, a place of thanksgiving and trust.
All scriptures came from a compilation of verses for Worshippers in Battle. Click the link for the full list.
Marching with me? The Lord is faithful. I wish I knew when life will go back to normal, but I don’t. But what I can promise, is that I know a God who has a great track record. He loves us. He is for us, and He is with us in the midst of this crisis. Hold on. Get your rhythm of trust. I think we may look back on these days with fondness because they were the days we came to really know the goodness of our God.