“I will no longer drive out before them any of the nations Joshua left when he died. I will use them to test Israel and see whether they will keep the way of the Lord and walk in it as their forefathers did. The Lord had allowed those nations to remain; he did not drive them out at once by giving them into the hands of Joshua. These are the nations the Lord left to test all those Israelites who had not experienced any of the wars in Canaan (he did this only to teach warfare to the descendants of the Israelites who had not had the previous battle experience.)” Judges 2:21 – 3:2
Don’t you love that?! We have a Father who can fight all of our battles and win! We have a Father who can meet all of our needs and provide all of our desires. We have a Father who could make the path smooth and easy for us, never allowing us to stumble or requiring us to break a sweat. He could.
But He doesn’t…He says things to us like, “(I) did this only to teach warfare to the descendants of the Israelites who had not had the previous battle experience.” Or “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
I love that about our God. The fullness of life is to experience the joys and elation of the mountain tops. The fullness of life is to experience the peace, rest and leisure of the meadow. Oh, but the fullness of life is to experience the sweat on your face as you run your race with zeal and passion. The fullness of life is to weep from the depths of our soul out of compassion for hurting people. The fullness of life is to know the joy of victory but to know the joy of victory…you must first take up your sword and fight.
Let’s agree not to steal those moments for our children. Sometimes…when you can buy them something they “want”…don’t. Have them work for others to earn the money for it themselves. Sometimes…when they feel sorry for themselves because someone is faster or stronger…don’t take their side and bring hats to the pity party. Take them instead to the children’s wing of the hospital and allow them to experience how truly blessed they are with their health. And sometime…when they are broken to the depths of their soul, comfort them for sure…but encourage them to pick up their own sword…our sword…His Word. Steady that little hand, wipe those tears and point them to their battlefield.
He loves us too much to spare us the fight. Oh how I love that about Him.