Many times we face all sorts of challenges and problems and the way our families, culture and environment has nurtured us is to think that the only way out of trying situations is to fight OUR way out… make it happen. If all we ‘know’ fails, we try what other people ‘know’…and then our life is this thick maze of ‘trying’ all sorts to resolve the ‘challenge’ that sometimes later has no resemblance to the original challenge we started out with.
At this point, you are probably thinking…
‘thats not me’ I am a Christian and I commit all my challenges to God and let Him take control!’
Okay if you say so… but if you are like me who typically follows this process to problem solving:
- Identifying a problem/challenge/ disaster
- Praying about it
- Rapidly put on my problem solving hat and map out the different ways to resolve the issue identified in 1. Decide on the most sensible/reasonable solution
- Pray to God and hastily inform Him of my ‘chosen’ solution
- Embark on Solution….
Sound familiar…? Yeah I thought so 🙂
That always works for many of us until you have to face a situation where you are completely and horribly helpless. Nothing you can do to fix it. I experienced this recently with the very painful loss of my dad… So more than ever before I know what that feeling of helplessness is like and if not careful how difficult it can be to be ‘wholly trusting’ on God to ‘fix things’.
For some people they remain in desperation and denial while some quickly realise that trusting in God is nothing like steps 1-5 described above. Its more like getting to step 2 and then trusting God to show you what step three is.
So what has all that got to do with two women, a thunderstorm and a tent peg?
The people of Israel had been under oppression for twenty years. Serious hard core suffering in the hands of Sisera, the commander of the army of Hazor. The natural solution would be to fight back right? But the people of Israel couldn’t because they did not have the tools or manpower to defeat Sisera and His army. That is a pretty clear interpretation of a hopeless case by any human standard. Yet Deborah (Woman 1) trusted in the Lord and in His promise to deliver them when she asked Barak to gather men to be ready to fight Sisera and win the battle. The main advantage of Sisera’s army was they had this powerful 900 chariots – men on foot could not come up against it. They would be completely trampled.
The night before the battle, there was a great thunderstorm and all the enemy chariots got stuck in mud. So they fled before the people of Israel who chased them ( because now the leverage was gone) and killed them. Sisera the commander fled and found a harmless woman by a tent by the name Jael.
Jael ( Woman 2) invited this previously great and scary man (who is now scared because he is running for his life) to her tent. He is escaping a battlefield, so a woman alone in her tent is not a threat at all. She gave him something to drink and showed him where he could hide out and rest… she was so harmless that he relaxed well enough to fall asleep!
Dear Jael then picked up a tent peg
and hammered it through his head right into the ground!!!
The great Sisera was dead – death by a tent peg.
So after twenty years of suffering and helplessness, it finally occurred to the people of Israel to call out to God to rescue them. Rescue was so far fetched that it had to come from God… and when it did come, it came in the form of…
Two women, A thunderstorm and A tent peg… (I call it TWATAT)
Are you in a place where all the odds seem overwhelmingingly stacked against you? Then maybe its time to pause for a moment, take a breath and call out to God for help…
Your own form of a TWATAT might just be waiting to deliver you and bring you respite.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight…”
– PS – Thanks to my Vicar (Mick Hough) for kindly allowing me borrow the subject title.