Have you ever had someone fight for you? A friend who fended off a bully, even if it meant taking punches that were meant for you? A big sister or big brother who, in most cases seemed like they couldn’t care less for you, all of a sudden became protective of you? An adult who intervened at just the right time before your heart was completely crushed and your spirit utterly broken? Someone who simply took the time to understand things from your vantage point and simply affirmed your feelings of loneliness and hurt?
There’s something about having someone fight for us that makes us feel valued and loved, that affirms that we’re worth fighting for, even though we ourselves may be convinced we’re not worth it. Although I’ve had plenty of people fight for me and on my behalf for much of my life, I have spent most of my adult years (17 years of which have been spent in vocational ministry) trying to fight for others – for my family, for the church, for the good of God’s people, for my community. I continue to be compelled by causes that fight against injustices and for those who cannot fight for themselves, where I can join the fight alongside others.
But every now and then, while working so hard to fight for others, I find myself wondering, “is there anyone fighting for or willing to fight for me? Because it feels like sometimes all some people want to do is just fight with me…but not for me.” I can certainly be just as guilty of doing the same. But when I take time to slow down, I realize that the fighters-for are there…and they are plenty.
Similarly, it’s not until I slow down that I become aware of the One who always has been, who is, and who always will be fighting for me.
In Exodus 14, the people of Israel are trapped between the pursuing Egyptian army – an advanced military force at the time made up of iron chariots, horses and heavy artillery so great in number that would have likely shook the very ground on which the Israelites were standing – and a large enough mass of water that would have either been impossible to cross and would have taken too long to try to walk around. The Israelites could try to fight back, but it would be futile. They would either be swiftly conquered or annihilated. As they cried out in despair, desperate for deliverance, Moses brought their attention back to the God who had been fighting for them all along.
Moses said, “The LORD will fight for you; you need only be still.” (Exodus 14:14)
Many of us keep fighting as if God were unaware and disinterested in our battles.
Some of us keep fighting just in case God decides not to fight for us.
Others of us keep fighting because we don’t believe we’re worth being fought for.
But as long as we’re busy fighting, we’re too distracted to see the One is always fighting for us.
Where do you need to still yourself today so that you can see that God is actually fighting for you, not against you? Where do you need to stop fighting, and leave the battle to the Lord?