I wonder where the saying "Jumping Jehoshaphat came from. I have no idea, but I was reminded again today of why his story in 2 Chronicles 20 is probably my favorite story in the old testament. Have you read it? Because it's flippin' awesome.
You can read the whole story here, but let me give you the highlight reel.
A few different groups of people rise up against Judah (Those pesky Moabites and Ammonites again), and in response, the king, Jehoshaphat, declares a fast throughout the whole nation. People come from all of the cities to pray together.
Jehoshaphat leads his people in prayer, praises God, tells Him what's happening, then ends with (I love this part!), "We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You."
To me, that sentence is PROFOUND. First of all, for any of us, but especially for a king, to admit to everyone around that we have no clue what we're doing is really difficult. But then, he doesn't try to come up with a plan, he looks at God, expectantly.
And the Spirit of the Lord comes upon one of the men and He says through him, "Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed...for the battle is not yours, but God's."
Another stop you in your tracks moment. Not only does Jehoshaphat not have to plan the battle, he also doesn't have to fight it. God's going to fight it for him.
But wait, it gets better. The army goes down to the wilderness where the enemy is, but instead of preparing for war, God has them put singers and musicians out front to lead the way singing "Give thanks to the Lord, for His steadfast love endures forever!"
And they don't have to fight. At all. The enemies end up destroying each other. They are all dead when Jehoshaphat's army arrives.
I love the way the story ends, too. "And God gave them rest on every side."
Oh, I wish to live my life this way.
To take every problem to the Lord, trusting that He has a better plan than I could ever come up with. To not worry about the outcome, but to praise the Lord for his steadfast love which endures FOREVER.
To march into each battle praising my God.
To not fight, but to trust Him to fight for me.
Sometimes I'm not quite sure how this kind of faith should be played out in my own life (and there I go, taking the reigns and planning again). Even now as we wait to see what's next in our infertility battle, I have so many different battle plans; diet changes, homeopathic doctors, naturopathic doctors, chiropractor... (and believe me, that's a short list. Google PCOS and try to sift through the plethora of things that might work)
But I guess I have to learn to just wait. Let God make the plan. Let God reveal the plan. And fight the battle.
And that's not to say that we sit back and do nothing. I'm not looking for magic here (although God could miraculously cure me, I know), but I need to learn to listen for His direction, give Him my worry, and praise Him through it.
This story has gotten me through other battles too. Relationships with others, discipline issues with students, and more. I constantly have to remind myself to stop trying to take matters into my own hands and let God have control.
(What do you think? Should I get this story tattooed on myself somewhere?)