Sunday, July 27, 2014

Train in the Trenches

The pitcher slid from my hands splashing a tidal wave of tea across the floor. Grabbing a towel with one hand and my ringing phone with the other, I glanced at the caller name and answered, "Hey, girl."

Melissa greeted me. "You sound, um...busy? I need to ask a question."

"Spilled tea. I'm not-so-peacefully mopping the kitchen," I explained. "I'm okay. Go for it."

She laughed at the timing of her question. "If the joy of the Lord is my strength, why am I so beaten down today?There is no joy and strength in Melissa-ville."

It's a humid 90 degrees before sunrise and the air conditioner stops working. The toddler drenches the crib, but has helpfully taken off his diaper to wash the walls. Your husband says the bills must be paid immediately. Once you juggle the budget, find the bills and prioritize them.

The kitchen is a soured mess because the older children didn't do their chores. The clean folded clothes from yesterday have been strung over the chairs by the preschooler who decided to play laundry woman... and all you really want is a shower so you don't smell worse than the crib...Was that the doorbell?

You glance at the clock, aware of your looming check-up appointment with the doctor, promising yourself to be on time for the half hour you will sit in the waiting room. The doctor will say you are fine. But, you don't feel fine. You feel tired of battling.

When the prophet Elijah was overwrought by battle fatigue, God's answer was simplistic: Eat some stew. Take a nap.

Sounds terrific, God, but I need groceries to make stew and taking a nap isn't on my schedule today.

The joy of the Lord is our strength. Even without the stew or nap.

In the trenches, we cannot discern who is winning a battle. The Commander holds the battle plans and gives marching orders. Success can look like failure. What seems hopeless can be a catapult to higher ground. Peace can rule even in the heat of battle.

A soldier-princess is not surprised to find herself in the midst of battle. She never gives up, never quits. Most of our training happens in the trenches, the shield of faith raised against Satan's artillery.

Raise your standards high. Gird your armor on. Stand firm, soldier-princess. We will win the war.

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