Where's my Energy?
The story goes like this. There's this great land. It's got good fields and good crops. It's got already prepared wells and sisterns. It's got fruit trees and vineyards that are beautiful. A land "flowing with milk and honey". And God has given it to the people. Free and clear. "I will hand it over to you." "I have given them into your hand." "None of them will be able to withstand you."
It all sounds too good to be true! Just walk up and take it? Nope. You gotta fight for it.
I knew there was a catch! Nothing's that easy. Everything worthwhile has to be struggled for.
So here's the story that keeps rolling around in my head all day...
After a full day, the Israelites get a message from Joshua. We have to pack up the army and march. At the beginning of the day? No. At the end of the day. "Why pack up the army and begin a march at the end of the day?" Good question. Not the best strategic move.
"The Gibeonites are being attacked."
"Who cares about the Gibeonites. Why are we their protectors?"
"We made a covenant with them to protect them."
So the armies of Israel marched all through the night to race over to Gibeon to protect a Canaanite city they had foolishly made a covenant with. And when they arrived they found that the 5 kings of the Amorites had all joined forces together. Now they're not just facing an army. They're facing the combined forces of 5 armies! The odds are stacked very strongly! Not in Israel's favor.
Here is where God steps in with the promise. But a promise from God sounds different when you've marched all night. It's good and all. It's great to have. It's important. But, you still have 5 armies and dead beat limbs. And an aching back. And sleepy eyes....
So now the real battle begins. And God is true to his word. Faithful. The armies of the Amorites are thrown into confusion and begin to flee. The Israelites attack and begin to chase them. That's right - chase them. The running begins. All the way back to their cities. A marathon of chasing a fleeing army. But time is running out. And Joshua sees a chance to wipe out this army and the city. So he prays to God.
And what does he pray for? For the sun to stop and the day to be extended. What? If you're an exhausted Israelite army private who's marched all night. Who's fought all day. Who's ran and ran and ran after a fleeing army. Do you want the day extended? NO WAY! But guess what... The one time in all of history that a day was extended... is today. The tiredest day of your life and the day is longer. Unbelievable!
I don't know where my energy went today. Gone! Poof! Zap! But today I read that story and man did I feel for the Israelite army. I know that God made a great promise. I know that He did a great miracle. But I also know that those Israelites army men ran their butts off and fought their hearts out too. I have a new-found respect for that army. For the followers of God.
True followers of God are not lazy people. They are not sit-on-your-butt kind of people. They are go-getters. They are fighters. They are the ones who really do a lot of stuff. Yeah, God helps them. Yeah, they are enabled by Him. But they also work.
God give me the gumption, the energy, the initiative, the get-up-and-go. To serve You! Even when I feel like lying on my duff. I don't want to waste my day!
Life is an adventure, a journey we travel. And God walks it with us - hand in hand if we let Him. Guiding, shaping, and molding us through the circumstances. I seek to journey more intentionally here.
Sunday, July 10, 2005
Where's my Energy?