but this was different. we were stuck on the side of the road just outside of kingman, az, in 110F/43C heat. the van had given out, just after we’d finished cresting a hill. there were no prior indicators of trouble on today’s drive, though it was obviously similar to what we experienced in new mexico. and we began to pray.
i think for some of us, there was something disheartening about encountering the same problem again, after God had seemingly already miraculously won that victory. but it was also familiar ground, territory that had been ‘taken’ before. and as we prayed, b very matter-of-factly acknowledged, “Lord, we are completely dependent on you.” it wasn’t an attempt to manipulate God, still less false humility (the kind of thing that gets said because it sounds right); we all agreed as soon as we heard it. being broken down in the middle of the mojave desert has a way of clarifying these things, if they weren’t sufficiently clear already.
since you’re reading this, you have probably already inferred that the prayer was answered positively. within about 15 minutes, we were back on the road to los angeles and a visit with m’s mother’s side of the family. we are expecting to arrive in the mid-afternoon, after a relatively early 6:30am start. when we get there, i do hope to have the van looked at, not an automatic with the independence day holiday coming tomorrow.
but the thing that’s really on my mind is what God has for us in all of this. m has been a prayer warrior for a long time, the kind of person who lives through prayer and wins victories there. i pray and on occasion, have received amazing answers from God; but i have to confess that i don’t think that i’ve done the heavy lifting in prayer in many areas of life (preaching and worship leading being notable exceptions). and i believe that, among other things, God wants me to learn to take and hold territory in prayer. i have been the long-term beneficiary of an intercessor wife and dozens of other prayer warriors who have upheld me, our family, and the various ministries in which we’ve been involved. but i have had the sense for a couple of months (at minimum) that God is opening the door for me to take this next step in learning to live by faith.
i’m not so self-centered as to think that all of this is for my benefit only. i know that there is something that God is giving to my daughters in this — in m’s modeling, in my taking hold of what he is offering, in their own concrete dependence on him, and in the experience of his powerful, miraculous response. you think that there might be something he has in this for my mother-in-law as well? ☺
a special ‘shout out’ to those of you who are interceding for us: thank you for keeping us in prayer. day by day, i am reminded that this is about more than getting to the seattle area safely (though that is a concern!). as always, it’s also about how God is shaping and meeting us, calling us into a deeper dependence on him and into a more profound confidence that he will always come through for us. we really do seek and find our life in him.
now it came about after this that the sons of moab and the sons of ammon, together with some of the meunites, came to make war against jehoshaphat. then some came and reported to jehoshaphat, saying, “a great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea, out of aram and behold, they are in hazazon-tamar (that is engedi).”
jehoshaphat was afraid and turned his attention to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all judah. so judah gathered together to seek help from the LORD; they even came from all the cities of judah to seek the LORD. then jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of judah and jerusalem, in the house of the LORD before the new court, and he said, “o LORD, the God of our fathers, are you not God in the heavens? and are you not ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? power and might are in your hand so that no one can stand against you. did you not, o our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people israel and give it to the descendants of abraham your friend forever? they have lived in it, and have built you a sanctuary there for your name, saying, ‘should evil come upon us, the sword, or judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house and before you (for your name is in this house) and cry to you in our distress, and you will hear and deliver us.’ now behold, the sons of ammon and moab and mount seir, whom you did not let israel invade when they came out of the land of egypt (they turned aside from them and did not destroy them), see how they are rewarding us by coming to drive us out from your possession which you have given us as an inheritance. o our God, will you not judge them? for we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”
2 chronicles 20:1-12