School is delayed, football is canceled, the church doesn’t seem the same, heaviness and grief come over small things, as well as large losses. It can be tempting to think it will all be better when circumstances change or this COVID craziness is over. But here’s what reading the Bible tells me: There will always be another battle.
“Shalom” is taken from the root word shalam, which means, “to be safe in mind, body, or estate.” It speaks of completeness, fullness, or a type of wholeness that encourages you to give back. Sometimes it’s defined as a “filling in of the cracks.” I don’t know about you, but in this season, I need the cracks that have been created to be filled.
v.15 Once again there was a battle between the Philistines and Israel. David went down with his men to fight against the Philistines, and he became exhausted.
v. 18 In the course of time, there was another battle with the Philistines, at Gob.
v. 19 In another battle with the Philistines at Gob, Elhanan son of Jair the Bethlehemite killed the brother of Goliath the Gittite, who had a spear with a shaft like a weaver’s rod.
v. 20 In still another battle, which took place at Gath….2 Samuel 21:15,18-20
Here’s how I am preparing myself for the daily battles I face:
- Keep the Word handy. Sometimes it’s on an app, or playing in a car, sometimes it’s with a journal and my heavy Bible, other days, I just repeat something earlier put to memory. The Ephesians 6 passage about the armor of God doesn’t include a sheath, because we aren’t supposed to ever put away this sword.
- Immerse my environment in music. I love listening to songs that remind me of truth. (Because what causes discouragement and fear is all lies!) Sometimes I listen to music really loud in my car, with the windows open, and the wind on my face. Other times, I put on instrumental music and literally let the sound comfort. The Bible talks of Him inhabiting the praises of His people, so when there is a battle, let’s sing our way through it.
- Fellowship liberally. Enough with isolation. I am not interested in hiding out, or hiding behind what’s more comfortable, but disconnecting. I am challenging myself to take walks with friends, make the call I am prompted to, and tell my stories while listening to theirs. We were made for connection. This is the glory of telling war stories later together.
- Pray. I wrote a whole book about prayer and how sometimes all I know to say is amen. Whether you like to whisper your prayers, write them, shout them, do them with others, in the morning, whatever and however you connect with God, talking to Him provides everything we need to get through this new battle.
These tools were helpful for David as he faced battles, and they are helpful to me. When I engage in biblical practices, I see God provide what I need: mercy, patience, self-control, love, peace, joy… In the end, the result of that fruit in my life makes me grateful (instead of bitter) for the battles I face.