This past weekend, I attended a lay speaker training in order to become a certified lay speaker within my district of the United Methodist Church. The focus of the training was storytelling and we were challenged use the tools we were given in the training to tell a story - remaining faithful to the scriptures - in under six minutes. Following is my story....
On September 28, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and on October 14, I underwent a double mastectomy. In the weeks after my surgery, I spent much of my new-found free time in quiet reflection with God; in His Word, in silence, in conversation with Him and asking what He would have me do now. Where was He leading me? Time after time, He led me to II Chronicles 20 and the story of Jehoshaphet. Now Jehoshaphet was the king of Judah and the scriptures say he walked in the ways of his father - meaning Asa. Asa had a great faith in God and Jehoshaphet wanted that as well. This is probably what drew me to Jehoshaphet first. I admire my own father's faith and strive to follow his example. So, Jehoshaphet wanted to do what was right in the eyes of the Lord.
One day, messengers came and told Jehoshaphet that the Moabites and Ammonites were coming to make war with Jehoshaphet. Obviously, Jehoshaphet was alarmed but his first reaction was to pray and inquire of God about what he should do. He ordered prayer and fasting among all the people. In verse 9, he prayed "If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence..." And then in verse 12 "For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you."
The spirit of the Lord then came down on one member of the assembly, Jahaziel and he said to Jehoshaphet, "King, Listen! This is what the Lord says. Don't be afraid of this vast army. The battle is not yours, but God's." Whoa! Stop a minute! It became very clear why God kept directing me to this particular scripture. This battle in my body is not mine at all - it's God's! What a relief! Jahaziel went on to say "Take up your positions. Stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you." Wow...really? Are you talking me to me, God? I think you are...Now, what did Jehoshaphet do?
So Jehoshaphet bowed with his face to the ground and all the people sang praises and prayers to God. While this was going on, God sent ambushes who destroyed the entire Moabite and Ammonite army. In fact, the destruction was so bad that it took three days to pick up all the plunder. On the 4th day, Jehoshaphet's people assembled again and they praised God and the kingdom of Jehoshaphet was at peace for God had given him rest on every side.
My kingdom, your kingdom - my life, your life can be at peace and you can have rest as well if you will let God fight the battle. Don't be afraid, don't be discouraged. Face tomorrow and the Lord will be with you. Just as he fought my cancer battle and defeated it and filled me with peace. Thank you!