Little Battles

I've been reading in Joshua lately, and a few days ago finished chapter six, when Joshua and his army conquer Jericho. It's Chapter 7 though, that always serves as a reminder to commit everything I do to God, regardless of how small or insignificant it seems to me. In Joshua 7, the Israelites, reeling from their spectacular defeat of Jericho, are routed in their attempt to conquer Ai, a small neighboring city. Before the defeat, Joshua had sent spies to Ai, who had reported that it was small and had few men. So, Joshua only sent a few thousand of his men to Ai. They were smartly defeated by those few men, and chased far outside the city gates. Joshua mourned the loss of 36 men, and sought God in an attempt to understand why He had allowed the defeat. It was then that God revealed the sin among the Israelites - someone had disregarded His command to take nothing out of Jericho.

There are many lessons to be learned here, but what strikes me the most at this particular place in my life is how Joshua sought God after the defeat at Ai, not before. He relied on his own intelligence, cunning, and strength as a leader for the upcoming battle. He sent spies to the land, and wholly relied on their opinion and his intuition for the victory, and was crushed when that didn't work out so well.

It really floors me how often I do this. Seriously, I consider myself to have pretty decent intelligence, and yet I make this same mistake over and over again. There are probably times when I make it several times - in one day! How often do I prepare to face some "little battle" in my life wholly on my own strength, intelligence, willpower, etc.? I struggle through some days as if I'm walking through mud up to my waist, wondering why the smallest of tasks are so burdensome and difficult. Well, duh. It's so easy for me to get that "wonder woman" sydrome - I can do it all....Ummm, no, I can't. And of course it's natural to go to God with the things I can't handle (the ones I know I can't control, as opposed to the ones I think I can...) Those are easy to let go of, because I never really felt like I had a hold on from the get-go. But the "little battles," the small everyday things that I think I should be able to do no problem, well it takes more than just remembering to go to God and cover those in prayer. It takes some letting go of my own pride and self-determination, too.

I had some major grad projects due this week. Naturally, I left them until the last few days to start them. In college, (the first time...) this worked great. I really do produce some of my best work at the last minute. But in college, I didn't have a husband, a house to clean, two toddlers to care for, or a pregnant belly. Procrastinating is downright exhausting at this stage of life! Anyway, these projects shouldn't have taken me so long. Every step was bogged down by indecision, exhaustion, and difficulty. It wasn't until I was nearly finished and wondering why on earth it had taken me nearly 20 hours to complete what should have been a 6-hour assignment that I realized I hadn't once sought God and asked for His help. Even as I read through Joshua and reminded myself of this valuable lesson, I neglected to apply it right then in my life. Isn't that just like me.

What an incredible gift that my creator knows me, loves me and accepts me right where I am, even when I am foolish enough to try and control even the tiniest of details on my own. Amazing grace, indeed.

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