For I was ashamed to ask the king for soldiers and horsemen to accompany us and protect us from enemies along the way. After all, we had told the king, “Our God’s hand of protection is on all who worship him, but his fierce anger rages against those who abandon him.” So we fasted and earnestly prayed that our God would take care of us, and he heard our prayer (Ezra 8:22-23 NLT).
Some time ago I was wrestling with a personal issue, and I was having trouble totally handing it over to God. I struggled and struggled, trying to figure out a way to deal with it. After much prayer and seeking God’s Word for peace and assurance, I finally said to God, “Okay my hands are off it. I promise I will not pursue the matter any further in my own way of trying to figure this out. I have asked You to give me wisdom and intervene and that’s what I’ll wait for.” I meant it then and I still mean it now, because as of this writing I’m still waiting. Almost daily, I get the urge to keep trying to work on it myself and try to figure out a way to get around my promise, because I’m sure God could use my help. I must admit, it is way harder than I thought it would be to keep my promise. But I’m determined to leave it alone.
There’s something within me that wants to think I’m superwoman, supermom, superwife, whatever. I guess part of that comes from raising three children and always trying to fix things for them or finding the answer for them. I didn’t always have the solution or
the answer, but I suppose I wanted them to think I did. Oh, how many times I said the words, “Don’t worry. I’ll figure it out. That’s what I’m here for.” Or, “It’s all going to be okay. I promise.” Many times when I said those words I was hoping and praying they were
really true. So perhaps many of us, along the way find it hard to relinquish our struggles completely to God.
Here we find Ezra the scribe preparing for the march from Babylon to Jerusalem. He and his company had a long weary journey of four months before them. They had little experience of arms and warfare. There were many women and children and much valuable property with them. Besides that, the stony desert was infested by wild bands of marauders who could easily swoop down on them and take everything they had. There would have been no harm in
Ezra’s asking an escort, seeing that his whole enterprise was made possible by the king’s support anyway. But he had told the king that God would protect them, so how could he contradict himself by asking for help, at least without much embarrassment. So they
prayed and fasted, and God indeed protected them and gave them a safe journey. So, like Ezra, we have to decide each day if we really believe what we say. “Will He or won’t He?”