Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it. Then he went up to the temple of the Lord and spread it out before the Lord. And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord. 2 Kings 19:14
Imagine getting a call, an email, or a text message from your doctor that you have a terminal disease. Perhaps, your supervisor informed you the company is downsizing, and your employment will be terminated. Or you received a letter from the bank that your house is going to be foreclosed because you are unable to pay the mortgage.
Life is filled with unexpected and distressing events. It is not unusual for any of us to get life-changing news out of the blue that may change the trajectory of our lives. I distinctly remember when my sister called me on November 17th, 2021, to tell me that my dad had just died. I was sitting in the living room at my house relaxing after 16 hours of work. Suddenly my phone rang, and my oldest sister informed me that my dad had transitioned.
What started out as a routine day turned into an emotionally devastating moment of time. This was a week prior to Thanksgiving, and the last thing I wanted was to deal with the death of my dad during Thanksgiving week. As I listened to my sister on the phone, I decided to just give my pain to the Lord. After all, this was all that I could do. My dad was in New Jersey, and I was in North Carolina. There was no one I could talk to who would understand my pain and sorrow.
In the ensuing days, while focusing on making funeral arrangements for my dad, I also had to provide pastoral care to my siblings and the rest of my family. Yet, I had no one to minister to me and help me deal with my grief. Therefore, I had to give it to the Lord. In my distress, I cried out to God, and He heard my voice and pitied my every groan.
In today’s text, king Hezekiah and the people of Judah are under attack from the king of Assyria. Hezekiah received a letter from the king of Assyria who was bragging about how he was going to destroy Judah because not even the God of Israel could deliver Judah from his military might. Hezekiah’s army was no match for the large Assyrian army that was threatening Judah. Knowing there was nothing he could do to stop the Assyrian invasion; Hezekiah went up to the temple of the Lord and prayed. He spread the letter from the king of Assyria before the Lord and gave the battle to God.
When we are forced to fight any unprovoked battle, we should give it to the Lord. No matter the nature of the battle and the ruthlessness of our enemy, they are no match for the power of God. Incidentally, God did not allow the Assyrians to invade Judah. “The angel of the Lord went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning—there were all the dead bodies! So, Sennacherib king of Assyria broke camp and withdrew. He returned to Nineveh and stayed there” (2 Kings 19:35-36).
When we give our burdens to God, we get the strength to endure and the courage to remain steadfast as we wait for the deliverance of the Lord. God invites us to give Him our burdens. Indeed, in Jesus, we have an explicit invitation to come to the Lord when we are weary and burdened so we can get rest from our troubles.
God should be the first person we go to in times of trouble and not our last resort. We should give our problems to God before we share them with anyone else. Hezekiah reminds us that the Lord is a rescuer to those who look to Him in their distress. He also teaches us to trust God even when our circumstance is seemingly irredeemable or unfixable. God is a miracle worker, and nothing is impossible with Him. So, just have faith and let Him carry your loads.
Questions for Personal Reflection
What load are you trying to carry that you need to give to God?
How is God helping you to carry your loads?
Prayer- Blessed Lord, you have been my rescuer and deliver since I can into this world. I give you all my trials and tribulation, my joy and my sorrows. Please remind me to give you whatever I cannot carry on my own. When my weakness is greater than my strength and my enemies are too strong for me to defeat, draw me into your presence so you can fight my battle and give me rest.