I prayed today that God would give me words to write. I started a book project a while ago but the writing in it is slow. I'm not quite sure what direction it is going in, but I'm really good at a couple of things -- changing diapers (been doing it daily for more than 22 years straight) and reading the Bible (I'm not a Bible teacher by any means. I'm just a Believer who knows how important reading it is and so she does). I can pretty much guarantee I'm not supposed to write an entire book on changing diapers so something about the Bible is my other choice. And it has to do with being a caregiver and being God's kid and life and such. Like I said I don't know exactly yet. The title presently is, Under the Tree with Hawk. That's just a working title, something to name the document.
I wrote something in it today and I want to share some of it with you. I thought it might bless you. So, here's to blessing you (and if it has remnants of things I've written before don't let that bother you):
Jael was a woman who lived in tents. She and her husband were friendly with the enemy and living on the outskirts of God’s people. She was a Kenite. They were allies with Israel but at the time of Jael they weren’t considered as part of any of the Israelite tribes. They were a nomadic people.
I can imagine Jael’s days. She washed and cooked and took care of children. She might have gathered wild herbs. She might have been in charge of butchering small animals for supper. It would have been a quiet life. Since they were nomadic she was good at packing up their belongings.
But in the midst of this quiet life God used her one afternoon to defeat the enemy. And once she defeated the enemy her life probably went back to being the quiet life she was used to.
Her story is found in Judges 4, a mere five verses. But in this short passage she shows cunning and intelligence, boldness, courage and humility. When she had to act she stepped up and did what was needed to be done. She didn’t hesitate. She judged the situation and acted on behalf of God’s people. Her actions brought deliverance to them from a harsh and powerful task master (in the next chapter of Judges Deborah and Barak devote four verses to Jael’s story. They celebrate her and her actions).
And I wonder, would I be ready to face the enemy if that enemy showed up on my doorstep? Would I have the right words? Would I have the courage to do what needed doing?
I don’t know. My life is quiet. My life is one big routine. Even today I really didn’t feel like taking care of Hawk or reading to him. We did, but I was flighty in thought. That kind of flightiness sure won’t prepare me for the enemy.
What if our routine-filled lives are what prepares us to battle whatever enemy that might come our way?
God doesn’t waste anything in our lives. Since we all have routines and since they are so prevalent to our lives, they must be of great importance.
I can tell you I was thankful for the routines after my daughter Maggie died. She died four days after she got sick. We don’t know why she died. It was a shock and even now four years later I’m just remembering some of the details of that time. After burying her body and getting back to life, my routine kept me sane. I didn’t enjoy it but it gave me a direction to live in while my insides healed. Kind of like a walking cast for someone with a broken ankle. The cast keeps the ankle facing the right direction and secure so the person can walk and the ankle can heal.
I’m not sure how routines help fight spiritual warfare. They aren’t flashy. They aren’t exciting. They aren’t anything this world would acknowledge. You never see a movie a television show about life’s routines. And maybe it’s in that blandness that the power resides. Chuck Swindoll talks about “unconventional warfare” in his Bible study on Elijah. Those two words haven’t left me since I read them. What if our routines are some of God’s unconventional warfare? The enemy knows humans. He’s been studying them for centuries. He thinks he knows God, but he doesn’t understand God and how God works. Often, God works in the quiet and in the dark where the enemy won’t even bother to look until suddenly the enemy is struck down like Sisera was in Jael’s tent.
When Jael invited Sisera to enter her tent, he never saw the attack coming. He only saw a weak woman who he believed was no threat. Her obscurity would be his salvation he thought. And he thought wrong.
Don’t ever think your life is not powerful just because its quiet and routine-filled. Just because you find yourself caring for your mother daily and listening to the same stories over and over and checking after her yet again to make sure she didn’t leave any electrical appliances on.
Don’t ever think God isn’t using your life just because it has been days since you’ve seen another adult other than your spouse. God doesn’t waste anything. If you think about the biblical stories, there’s a lot of time unaccounted for in our Bible people’s lives. I’m guessing it was stuff not mentioned because it was just typical life. God knew when He was going to act. He just asks us to wait on Him, to be ready, to be content while He works things out.