1 Chronicles 14:13-17 (ESV) 13 And the Philistines yet again made a raid in the valley. 14 And when David again inquired of God, God said to him, “You shall not go up after them; go around and come against them opposite the balsam trees. 15 And when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then go out to battle, for God has gone out before you to strike down the army of the Philistines.”
In all my years of being a believer I do not remember hearing about God rustling the tops of the balsam trees. It makes my heart smile…puts a spring in my step to picture it…to hear it spoken in God’s word!
There is a verse about God standing in the heavens and coming to our defense…I can’t find that verse but it is in there somewhere! Can you imagine? When I first learned of that verse, I was being buried by impossible and painful events in my life. These were not temporary events…they lasted for years. The pain was daily…actually minute by minute. There was little relief and lots of terror.
I saw the picture of God deciding that He had enough…that He wasn’t going to wait any longer for good choices to be made. My mind formed the scene of Him having watched over the years of awful events happening in my world. I saw Him standing up in heaven…leaning toward me here on earth with His powerful, loving, righteous indignation. Clouds billowing at His feet, I could hear His voice thunder, “That’s enough!”
We want things to be fixed and waiting can seem illogical, so we fix them…our way. Waiting is painful. It is hard! Sometimes, like that season in my life, there is absolutely nothing you can do but wait. Your back is against a wall…sometimes for months…even years. At times, you cry out to God, not as much because your faith is great…but because there is no alternative. There is no way to “fix this”.
It occurs to me that having no alternative but God is one of the greatest gifts He can give us. Maybe you are in one of those times. If you aren’t…you will be or have been.
This is a time, not for bitterness, self-pity or rebellion. This is a time to seek God’s face, cry out for His direction and wisdom. It is a time to find joy in the fact that He hears, He loves you and He will walk you through this moment by moment…step by step. It is also a time to memorize His ways. You will remember the events because they are so horrific. But we must remember His ways and allow His work to strengthen our faith for the next challenge that will inevitably come our way.
Don’t allow yourself to be surprised, caught off guard by the hard days…the deeply painful seasons. There will be wars…there will be pain and loss, because this is a very broken world and we have made very broken choices. But our God will use the painful times…the horrific times to draw us closer to Him and then…glorify His name in a way that draws others into His arms.
As we wait…as we seek His wisdom…those that come behind us are taking it in. One day, when their struggles come, they will have a clear picture of how to lean into our God!
16 And David did as God commanded him, and they struck down the Philistine army from Gibeon to Gezer.
17 And the fame of David went out into all lands, and the LORD brought the fear of him upon all nations.