Is God on coffee break?

Posted on · Posted in Narrative, Worldview

There are times when everything goes wrong all at once. The kids are out of control. There are problems with the car or the house. You are tired to the bone. There are far too few hours in a day to get done what needs to be done. You try to pray but it is like God is on coffee break.  Life gets like this sometimes. 

Jehoshaphat had a moment like this. But he was rescued by the power of praise. Praise often is the last thing thought about when life becomes crazy.  We associate praise with good times but not so much with the chaotic times. However, praise is always the appropriate attitude of our hearts, regardless of whether times are good or crazy.  God is still God, he is unchanging, immutable. God is always worthy of your praise. You see it is not God who is on coffee break, you are.

King Jehoshaphat knew that a vast army was coming to attack Judah.  The army was strong and unjust. He knew that he had no ability to defeat the bad guys, they were simply too strong. Instead of caving into despair, the king cried out to God:

“Our God, will you not judge them? For 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.” 2 Chronicles 20:12

It is always wise to acknowledge that you don’t know what to do. In the text, we see that God responds to the king’s humble cry for help. God spoke to Jahaziel, a Levite, who said this to the king and all those gathered before him:

Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.”

When we think God is on coffee break, that he has abandoned us, it because we think this is our problem, that we have to solve it in our own strength.  We forget that the praise of God is where we must begin when life is crazy and out of control.

Jehoshaphat listened to the Levite. He bowed down before the Lord in worship.and all the people did the same. Then they began to praise the Lord.

I don’t know how God will resolve the particular problems you face when life is overwhelming. But I do know that the answer must begin with humility and looking to God to do what you cannot. Jehoshaphat realized that he must look to God when he had no answers. God answered in a way he could not have imagined.

Humility and praise are practical!  Without these two qualities, you will think the battle is your battle. But the battle is not yours, it is God’s. 

Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.