The Battle is the Lord's
Dena Johnson MartinDena Johnson is a former single mom to three amazing kids: Blake, Cole, and Cassie and wife to her high school friend, Roy. She strives to follow Christ each day and to lead her children to do the same. She delights in taking the every day experiences of life and turning them into biblical lessons for her children. Dena's daily prayer is simple: Lord, my life is yours. Live through me. Love through me. Parent through me. Let me decrease that you might increase. Dena is the founder of Dena Johnson Ministries, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people find beauty through the brokenness of this life. Her heart's desire is to use her own pain to point others to the power of God who redeems every hurt, every pain. You can contact Dena at Dena@denajohnson.com. You can also find her blog at Dena Johnson Ministries.
- 2018 Jan 25
The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” Exodus 14:14
Last week, I told you about a few of the battles we have been fighting in our very short marriage. Every marriage requires a tremendous amount of work. Second marriages require even more work, more grace, more mercy. Blending two very different families into one unit? There are no words.
Of all the battles we have faced, one has consumed more time, more energy, more everything than every other aspect of our lives. And last week, the entire situation kept building until it exploded and overflowed like a volcano erupting with such force everything around it is buried by the hot, molten lava.
In the midst of it all, God etched Exodus 14:14 into my mind. It began playing on a loop, the constant refrain consuming my mind. Those words grew louder and louder, drowning out every other voice, every other circumstance clamoring for my attention.
The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.
Can I just say how much fun it is to see God fight? I haven’t giggled this hard in months. Oh, to see God show up, show off, to take control of a situation as only He can! We have had so much fun with this one!
While we are a long way from complete resolution, today we are so much closer than we were just 48 hours ago. And we did nothing…literally nothing. We sat. We relinquished control. We threw our hands up declaring we were finished, we couldn’t handle it any more. We surrendered, waving the white flag for all to see.
And that’s when God stepped in and took over, fighting the battle as only He can, making a point with a giant exclamation point at the end.
I wish I could go into more detail of these circumstances, but this situation involves others and I don’t have permission to share their story. I feel it’s essential to protect the privacy of the other people involved. But let me just say that this one particular situation could have cost us our marriage and family if it had continued in the direction it was going. There were days I wasn’t sure we would make it, wasn’t sure it was worth it.
Today, however, we sit and laugh. We enjoy a good laugh, the unbelievable peace that surpasses all understanding. We rest, truly rest, like we haven’t done since before we were married.
So what have we learned through it all?
Worry is wasted time and energy. I think we all know worry is a waste, but this point has hit home with us this week. You see, we have spent months fighting, worrying, and—yes—praying. But there’s been a whole lot of worry and arguing and energy that could have gone to other things.
Today, we rest. Peacefully. Joyfully. Gratefully.
Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things? Luke 12:25-26
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
God’s battle plan is so much better than our own. Honestly, I’m not even sure how much worrying we have done. I think it’s been more about fighting, trying to understand, figure things out on our own. It’s been about living in turmoil, struggling to make decisions about how to move forward. It’s about handling things on our own rather than releasing them to God and letting Him handle it.
Throughout this week as we’ve seen God act, we’ve had to stop and recognize that His ways are higher than our ways, His thoughts are higher than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:9). We’ve recognized that we have to surrender to Him, let Him carry the burden because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:8). We’ve recognized that His plan always takes every unknown detail into consideration and results in the best possible outcome.
Sometimes all we need to do is be still.
Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world. Psalm 46:10
All things truly work together for our good when we love God. We’ve had some really ugly situations in the last few months, circumstances that were far from good. We’ve had battle lines drawn and the war has been raging. We’ve seen pain inflicted on those we love the most.
Yet, as we walk through the valley and begin to see the beauty of the future spread out before us, we can see the intricate mosaic God is creating—a mosaic filled with beauty and perfection that only the Sovereign God of the universe could create. We see how every painful detail has brought us to this point of moving forward, of finding resolution.
We see how God has been with us every step of the way.
And we know that God causes everything to work together[a] for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28
He lets our righteousness shine like the dawn and the justice of our cause like the noonday sun. I’ve been vilified in the past, and I’ve been vilified once again in this battle.
You know what? It’s all good!
God always shows up, always brings truth to light. God has once again stepped up and been my Defender. He has shed His light on the truth and let the world see reality as only He can.
I am eternally grateful for His defense…
He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun. Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act. Psalm 37:6-7
Thank you, Lord, for your goodness and grace. Thank you for your sovereignty, in putting together a battle plan that could only be constructed by you, the Creator of the Universe. Thank you for stepping in to defend your children, to fight the battles that we cannot fight on our own. Thank you for being everything we can’t be, for reminding us that sometimes the best thing we can do is simply be still. Thank you…