2 Chronicles 20:3
"Jehoshaphat was afraid and turned to his attention to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah."
Fear immobilizes and keeps you from seeing the glory of God. It is one emotion that can come on suddenly, without warning, and put a huge damper on a glorious day. At that moment we have no understanding of what needs to be done, rather we are inundated as our body screams, "Get me out of here!"
I can still feel those pangs when I visited Grandfather Mountain last summer. We were on our annual family camping trip when we decided to add an extra destination. I haven't been there for years; and my last stay was pleasant, so I had no adverse expectations in sight. But as I began to wind up the steep central road heading to the top of Mile High Bridge, I noticed my chest tightening. A bit of panic began to ensue, and I tried to focus my sites on the road ahead not taking in any of the breath taking views. At that point I was on a mission. A mission to get to the top and get off.
Miles up I drove and as I did the road became more unsteady. Side bends and deep side winds cut my path and all I could here was, "Mom, look, it's amazing!"
"Amazing....." I thought that I was still climbing, "Amazing that I just don't pull off at the next stop and head on outta here!" I kept plugging along. As I reached the top, prayer began to set in. "Help! I exclaimed, "get me through this quickly and get me off of here as soon as the children take in the view."
When I reached the top I was beyond compromise. But, I was too frightened to make the downward spiral again. I sat on a rock and prayed, "Lord, for some reason this fear of heights has gripped deep this time. How am I going to get down from here safely?" The answer came simple, "Go walk," I heard, "When your body relaxes take the lowest gear down, all will be fine." And so I did. I walked and relaxed.
Then I got to the top, and I didn't have the stomach to cross the Mile High Bridge. Before I could rush back down the steps, some angel grabbed my arm and said, "No you don't we can do it together!" I was quickly whisked across before I knew what hit me. How much better I felt when I crossed to the other side! "Praise God!" I exclaimed.
Then I took the low gear down. On the way down my fear dissipated more knowing my fate was in God's hands and all was well. After all who sends angels when you need them most?
Jehoshaphat had good reason to be afraid. Three nations joined a fight against this king of Judah. His men came running saying a vast army was approaching. What was he supposed to do? Meet with the generals? Round up his charioteers? Enlist everyone? Run? He did none of these.
Instead Jehoshaphat got on his knees and prayed. He refused to listen to his men around him. A divine intervention was needed at this moment. He did not moan; he did not complain. He reminded God of all his good deeds. He also praised him for being all powerful, all knowing. He knew that God would save him. He had put his faith in his hands. Then he waited.
God took Jehoshaphat's plea to heart and confused the armies. They ended up slaughtering each other. But the story didn't end there. All the neighboring kingdoms got wind of God's victory in Judah, and peace reigned for the rest of Jehoshaphat's twenty-five-year reign.
It's amazing what can happen when we call on God first. Our God is greater than our fears. Next time you feel fear do some heavy praying first. Don't get stuck on internal inclinations, or friendly advice from friends. Seek the one who knows all, who has our best at heart. Seek God first.