Chapter One Be Still and Let God Fight!

"The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still."

Exodus 14:14 NIV

I just can't take it anymore! That's what Danita said as she flopped down in the recliner in her den. It was late afternoon, and plenty of evening duties still lay before her. She felt like she'd been putting out fires all day long with no one to help. Somewhere inside she knew she shouldn't be feeling so irritated and helpless. She was running out of energy and not enjoying life the way she used to. She breathed a prayer of Lord, please help me, but it was more out of desperation than a sincere cry for help.

Oh, it's so easy to sing the I-can't-take-it-anymore blues! And before you know it, that annoying tune gets trapped in your mind and you can't stop humming it. My friend Debbie says it's like throwing your hands in the air and letting the tide carry you out. When demands are piled high and energy is running low, it's easy to get swallowed up in discouragement and self-pity.

Here's the good news. Your God is strong and mighty to save, and he's waiting and longing to invade your daily circumstances and pull you out of the pit!

He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. (Ps. 40:2 NIV)

Only God can bring stability out of the messes of life. He loves for you to call on him when you can't take it anymore. As your heavenly Father, it delights him to comfort you and rescue you. He understands your stress and how the events of daily living can leave you haggard and depleted.

Honestly, there are times when living can take the life out of you, can't it? But if you turn to Jesus and allow him to, he will fight your battles, restore your joy, and usher you into victorious living.

Women are fighting lots of battles these days and that battlefield includes husbands, children, parents, illnesses, finances, housework, all sorts of relationships, the workplace, that never-ending To-Do list, etc. There seem to be more things (and people) to manage with less time to do so. Life is just hectic!

But thanks be to God. He has a plan!

The story of Moses in the fourteenth chapter of Exodus has helped me understand the role of God and the role of me in that divine plan of his—you know, that plan that unfolds right in the middle of the stress of everyday living.

Let's take a look at this account of Moses recorded in the Scriptures.

Then the Lord spoke to Moses. "Tell the Israelites to turn back and camp in front of Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea; you must camp in front of Baal-zephon, facing it by the sea. Pharaoh will say of the Israelites: They are wandering around the land in confusion; the wilderness has boxed them in. I will harden Pharaoh's heart so that he will pursue them. Then I will receive glory by means of Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord." So the Israelites did this.

When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds about the people and said: "What have we done? We have released Israel from serving us." So he got his chariot ready and took his troops with him; he took 600 of the best chariots…of Egypt, with officers in each one. The Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued the Israelites, who were going out triumphantly. The Egyptians—all Pharaoh's horses and chariots, his horsemen, and his army—chased after them and caught up with them as they camped by the sea beside Pi-hahiroth, in front of Baal-zephon.

As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up and saw the Egyptians coming after them. Then the Israelites were terrified and cried out to the Lord for help. They said to Moses: "Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you took us to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Isn't this what we told you in Egypt: Leave us alone so that we may serve the Egyptians? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness."

But Moses said to the people, "Don't be afraid. Stand firm and see the Lord's salvation He will provide for you today; for the Egyptians you see today, you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you must be quiet." (Exod. 14:1-14)

You see, God's plan did not make sense. In fact, the plans of God often go against common-sense thinking. He actually instructed Moses to turn them away from Canaan, the Promised Land, and lead them toward the Red Sea. This action would lead Pharaoh to think they were confused and just wandering around. God orchestrated this event, you see, to bring glory to himself. As Pharaoh and his army pursued the children of Israel, it appeared that God's chosen people were doomed. The Israelites thought so themselves. Instead of trusting, they cried out to the Lord and complained to Moses, telling him it would have been better for them to serve the Egyptians than die in the desert! But Moses, full of God's vision, encouraged and comforted them with the assurance of God's deliverance.

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. (Exod. 14:14 NIV)