by: Stephanne Morris Marsh
This is from an older (2014) journal entry. I’ve posted it on Facebook before. I did update it just now to reflect my current favorite worship song choices. I woke up thinking about it, and I’ve argued about posting it again. I even tried writing something else. But apparently, somebody is supposed to read it. I hope it is you. ❤
Jehoshaphat and the Dying Cat Song
Have you ever sensed The Lord telling you to wait? Or felt that the time wasn’t quite right for something? Have you every worried or been fearful about something or anything and everything? I know I have. The Bible tells us repeatedly not to worry and not to be afraid. It tells us that The Lord has everything worked out and that He goes before us, that we are simply to trust in Him and worship Him!! Sounds easy, yet probably the hardest thing ever to actually do. Right?
I have been stuck in 2 Chronicles for almost a year. 2 Chronicles!!!! Most people tend to ignore Chronicles altogether, but there are some wonderful lessons to be learned and wisdom to be gained from reading the words The Lord left for us.
We all know it is easy to say, “Praise the Lord! Hallelujah!” when times are good. It is easy to believe that God loves you when you are on the mountaintop enjoying the sunshine. But what happens when you are down in the dark valley surrounded by your enemies?
Perhaps today, you are in the valley of darkness and despair and you are asking, “Where is God?”
He is right there with you. The God of the valleys says to you, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
This is the part I love. All of us southerners have at one time or another heard of “jumping Jehoshaphat”. However, In this story, Jehoshaphat didn’t jump. He waited. He was in a terrible situation. He should have panicked. But he didn’t. He prayed and he listened.
When King Jehoshaphat was surrounded and outnumbered by his enemies, the Spirit of the Lord came upon his prophet Jahaziel and he said to the king, “Don’t be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you. Don’t fear or be dismayed. Tomorrow, go out against them, and WAIT, for the Lord is with you.” (2 Chronicles 20:14– 17)
What King Jehoshaphat did next was brilliant. He acted with wisdom from on high. Instead of putting his great and mighty soldiers and commanders in front, he put worshipers in front! What did the worshipers sing? They sang of God’s love for them — “Praise the Lord for His love endures forever!” And God utterly destroyed their enemies! They ended up slaughtering themselves (they fell over on their own swords!) while King Jehoshaphat and his people STOOD and worshipped! (2 Chronicles 20:21–23, NIV)
It is not the trials that make us strong, but our responses in those trials. The devil wants us to respond by asking, “Where is God?” But God wants us to respond with faith in His love for us. We are more than conquerors not because of our love for Him, but through Him who loves us. (Romans 8:37)
So whatever valley or trial you are in today, don’t be afraid. God is there with you strengthening and upholding you. Just sing of His love for you and let Him fight your battles for you! Sing!!!
Michael W. Smith’s “Surrounded: This is How I Fight My Battles”, Jonathan David Helser’s “Raise a Hallelujah”, and Rhett Walker’s “Believer” are three of my top favorite songs to belt out right now.
So… I say all of that to say this. If you are down in the lowest valley, if you don’t know where to turn, if you don’t know what to do, trust in your heart, tell God you trust Him out loud, and then worship.
Even if it sounds pitiful, even if it sounds like a cat is dying, start to sing. Sing until you become strong. Sing until you mean it. Singing makes the darkness flee and singing brings praise and worship straight to the throne of the most High God. He will hear you.
All He requires is for you to be faithful. Start with what you have. Your faith will increase. Bring Him your offering of praise.
Four of the wisest ladies I have ever known have told me when you don’t know what else to do, thank Him for taking care of whatever “it” is and then sing a song of praise. Two of them were my grandmothers and they walked more closely with The Lord than anyone I’ve ever known. These other two, I’m fairly certain they touch the face of God daily, plus, my Bible tells me so. Oooooh yes, and pick up your Bible. Read 2 Chronicles chapter 20. It’s in the Old Testament, before Psalms. I promise you will be glad you took the time to read it.