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Last night, my boys did something they often do. They were playing with their toys after dinner, and they started to bicker. My oldest was playing with a train set, and my youngest wanted to use the blocks as roller skates… and he wanted to skate right through the trains. I’m sure you can imagine the scene.
My oldest asked nicely at first, but my youngest can be a toot sometimes and didn’t exactly respond nicely. The train tracks started to fall apart. Bridges crumbled. Trains were scattered. Blocks were thrown. Voices were raised.
Little Man (my oldest) tried pulling Buddy Boy (my youngest) off the trains… and then the crying started. Tempers flared quickly and the two boys were soon in a shouting match. It amazes me how quickly things can go from calm to chaos.
I tried to step in and separate the two boys. In my head, I could easily see the problem and was ready to offer a simple solution. But here’s where it got interesting. They kept fighting. I had the solution available, and I was trying to put them in place to be content. But they kept fighting. I tried speaking to both of them with my “mom voice.” I even told them what the solution was. But they kept fighting. They were so determined to solve the problem themselves that they missed hearing the solution. They were so focused on the problem right in front of them, that they couldn’t see the solution was right next to them.
I was left just shaking my head and thinking, “If you would just be still and listen, I can handle this.”
Y’all… as a mom, I have begun to understand the relationship with our Heavenly Father in a completely different way. How many times does He look and us and say, “If you would just be still….”? How many times are we so determined to solve a problem ourselves, and we miss the “God voice”? How many times have we missed being put in a place of contentment because we’re trying to handle all the things?
In the book of Exodus, God was very clear in speaking to the Israelites. Exodus 14:10 says, “As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up and saw the Egyptians coming after them. Then the Israelites were terrified and cried out to the Lord for help.” Pharaoh had just released the Israelites from slavery, and they were on the move. Of course, then Pharaoh then changed his mind and set all of his troops after them. So here are all of these families, standing in front of the Red Sea. They see Pharaoh’s men coming after them. I can only imagine the fear they felt. They asked the Lord for help. They verbally attacked Moses, accusing him of bringing all of them out into the wilderness to die. They were so busy being afraid and trying to come up with the solution, that they couldn’t even begin to see a way out.
The thing is, they weren’t supposed to. They weren’t supposed to find a way out on their own. The Lord brought them out of slavery in Egypt. The Lord took them through the wilderness. The Lord would provide the way out of this situation. And He did.
Exodus 14:14 tells us Moses’ response to the Israelites in their moment of fear. “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
The Israelites were commanded to trust. To be still and trust that God would fight the battle. Just like my boys were so busy fighting the battle on their own that they missed how easy the solution could be, we tend to get so caught up in trying to solve all the things that we miss the fact that God has commanded that we be still before Him.
Are you in a battle right now? I encourage you to pause. Still yourself before Him. For me, that often means I literally stop talking mid-thought. I retreat away from the situation at hand, and I put my face to the ground (or my prayer journal). I give the problem to Him… and then I trust. The Lord will fight for me. I need only to be still.
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