What to do when you don’t know what to do


At some point in our lives, we will all face questions or challenges that are bigger than we are and that can leave us with a sense of hopelessness and/or lack of direction. It may be news of life threatening disease, the loss of a loved one, a change of careers, a hurtful relationship, or just a time where we have to be still and wait for the Lord to move or to give us direction—whatever the case, we are overwhelmed and do not know where to go or what to do.  

I think of a boat captain who has lost his ship in the storm and finds himself all alone in a dingy, out in the middle of the vast raging sea. For years he has navigated these waters and has faced and overcome many storms and challenges, but this time, the storm was so severe, so large and so overwhelming, he now faces what he has never faced before. His ship, his men, his ability to navigate, and all that is familiar to him is now gone. He used all his skills, experience and education and did all he knew to do. He fought the storm to the point of exhaustion, but despite his efforts the ship went down along with all that was in it. Now, without divine intervention and guidance, he will be overcome by the challenges, the fear and the uncertainty he now faces.

Without his ship, what will he do? Behind the wheel of the ship, he knew where he was and what he had to do, but now that the ship is gone, he finds himself unable to help himself or anyone else and he is totally dependent on God for deliverance and hope for a future.

This illustration reminds me of the story of Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, as recorded in 2 Chronicles 20.   If you remember, Judah was about to be attacked by a huge, consuming army comprised of the Moabites, Ammonites and Meunites.  When King Jehoshaphat heard that the fierce armies were just outside the city and would soon be attacking and destroying his nation, he called all the people together to fast and pray. After thanking God for His faithfulness throughout Israel’s history, Jehoshaphat cried out to God: “We have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”  

What a powerful prayer and testimony. Jehoshaphat was facing an enemy like none he had ever faced. He knew that the situation was hopeless if God did not work a miracle, but instead of running away or just surrendering to the enemy, Jehoshaphat called out to the miracle working God who had always met their needs in the past and Who he knew could be trusted even now.

In answer to his prayer, God told a man named Jahaziel to tell King Jehoshaphat and all the people of Judah these words: “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow, march down against them. … You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you. O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out and face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.” When Jehoshaphat and the people heard the word of God, they fell on their faces and worshiped Him.

The next day, Jehoshaphat and his men put on their armor and got dressed for battle. The Bible says that as they worshiped and marched to take their positions to face their enemies in battle, the Lord himself set up ambushes against the enemy and destroyed them. Those he did not destroy, he caused to turn on one another until they completely annihilated one another.   When Jehoshaphat and his men reached the battlefield, they found only dead bodies—no one had escaped. The plunder of the enemy was so great, that it took Jehoshaphat and his men three days to collect it!

The battle was the Lord’s, but Jehoshaphat and his men still had to trust the Lord. They remembered His faithfulness in the past and they trusted Him to be faithful even now when they faced their greatest enemy yet, and this faith led them to worship Him. They still had to put on their armor and they still had to have the courage to march out and to face the enemy, but it was God who delivered them, who defeated their enemies, and gave them the plunder.    

Facing an enemy greater than they had never faced before, they could have just run away, but their homeland and way of life would have been conquered and they would have eventually been overrun and destroyed. They could have just surrendered, and would have faced the same fate plus slavery. Or, they could have tried to face the enemy in their own strength and in their own wisdom, which would have resulted in a very short battle where all of Judah would have been destroyed and all of history would have been changed.  

Thankfully, King Jehoshaphat saw his own limitations, remembered God’s faithfulness and promises, and chose to put all his faith and trust in Him even now as he led his people out to face their greatest enemy ever.

When we face enemies, circumstances or fears that are greater than our ability to handle, when we don’t know what to do, we need only to remember that there is a God who loves us, who has gone before us, and who will deliver us if we put our faith in and follow Him. We still have to put on our spiritual armor and we still have to go out and face the enemy, but the battle is Lord’s and He is faithful. Stand firm, look to Jesus and praise God for His faithfulness and salvation!

Devotions by Year

  • Even Bulls Can Learn To Get Along
  • Changed Minds
  • Today is the Day
  • Sometimes We See What's Not There
  • Why Do You Farm?
  • Misplaced Aggression
  • Feasting On Filler
  • 'Get Some Rest': Not As Easy As It Sounds
  • Lessons From Freddy
  • Just Tired and Reflecting
  • Safe Pasture
  • Sin: Just Like Fall Army Worms
  • Blood Cleanses
  • Just Cute Little Harmless Pups
  • Life: A Series of Pipping
  • Just Because He Loves Us!
  • No Excuses!
  • Oh! Now You Tell Me!
  • Live Like You Were Dying
  • But You Didn't Tell Me!
  • Time to Choose
  • A Gift for the Man Who Has Everything and Realizes That He Really Has Nothing
  • Celebrate the Harvest
  • Falling Stars
  • Easier To Lead Than To Drive
  • Weeds, Weeds, Weeds!
  • Grace Is Like Grits
  • We Can’t Do It ‘Ourselves’!
  • I Wouldn’t Make a Good Cowboy
  • What Are We Thinking?
  • Your Walk Talks
  • Activity is No Substitute for Reproduction
  • Who Would Have Ever Thought It?
  • Thankful for Boundaries
  • Cover It Up Or Fix The Problem?
  • What Will Your Legacy Be?
  • I Wish I Had Been There! I Wish I Had Not Forgotten!
  • If God Can Use a Dove....?
  • Hope In The Midst Of Hopelessness
  • I Don't Know You!
  • Like A Straddled Squirrel
  • Sounding the Alarm: This Is Not a Test!
  • Don’t Let The Urgent Keep You From The Most Important
  • We Never Know Who We Have In The Basket
  • Uh Oh--Jesus' Got Toothpaste On His Head!
  • A Moment of Silence is like Preg Checking a Bull
  • A Chicken's Right to Choose
  • Got to Leave Right Now! What Do I Take With Me?
  • He is Able—But if He Does Not!
  • Declarations of Independence: Properity or Destruction?
  • Blackie: One In A Hundred-In More Ways Than One
  • Who Is Holding On The Tightest?
  • That Must Have Been 20 Years Ago!
  • It's Almost Time
  • Keeping Me Awake At Night
  • Better Be Dressed
  • CHRISTMAS My Favorite Time of the Year
  • A Nation Without God is a Nation Without Hope
  • Bush Hogging During a Severe Drought?
  • When the Heart Dies—the Whole Body Dies With It
  • Depopulate and Eradicate (or) Expiate and Propitiate
  • If I Could Only Say One Thing and Had One Last Chance to Say It
  • Go Ahead and Jump Son—Daddy Will Catch You
  • The Final Dispersal
  • Chicken Piping—He Sees Them All
  • “Takes the Teeth Out”
  • Making It Harder Than It Is
  • Why Was He Born?
  • What to do when you don’t know what to do
  • A Dry And Thirsty Land Where No Water Is
  • If Only These People Will Change
  • Go Fishing—You Never Know What You Might Catch
  • Some Droughts are Preventable
  • Celebrating ‘True Freedom’
  • Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone
  • Victory Through Surrender
  • Responding Like a Sick Calf?
  • Our Life’s Investment: A Time for Reflection
  • Preg Checking: Open! Bred! I Ain’t Sure!!
  • Confidence To Face The New Year
  • Two Virgins and a Baby—The Irony and the Gift of Christmas
  • Precious Moments in the Calving Pasture
  • Working On a Building
  • What is the Foundation of Your Faith?
  • To Walk on Water—You Have to Step Out of the Boat
  • Only One Life to Live
  • The Uniqueness of a Mother’s Love
  • A Prayer That God Will Always Answer
  • Lessons from a Boar
  • When You Have Done All You Can Do to Stand: Stand Firm
  • Lowing in the Distance
  • Not My Dirty Feet!
  • Where did it go CFCI devotional
  • The Day ‘Tater’ Died
  • Life’s Lessons from the Chicken Yard
  • Christmas Choices
  • Experiencing God in the Calving Pasture
  • FAMILY: On and Off the Farm
  • Unity is More Than Important—It is Absolutely Essential
  • God, I’m not ______________. I AM!
  • The Rod and the Staff
  • The Good Shepherd Leads the Way
  • The Good Shepherd
  • Blessed to be a Blessing
  • Mama Should Have Named Me Martha
  • FENCES: On the Farm & In Our Lives
  • The Harvest Depends on the Heart
  • The Gospel & Our Response to God's Grace
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