2 Chronicles 20:12: “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”

Reflection: I invited the students in my Senior Seminar in Christian Ministry class (meeting via Zoom video conference, because of the current pandemic) to turn to a passage in 2 Chronicles that has always guided my heart and my practice of leadership in extremely difficult circumstances. Facing daunting threat and almost certain defeat, King Jehoshaphat calls together the people of Judah and does what any of us do when we’re in a similar situation. He leads them in prayer.

His prayer acknowledges the great power of God, names the challenge before them, and reaches climactic crescendo with a line that has become a sort of mantra for me as a pastor and a professor: “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” (2 Chronicles 20:12 NIV)

Such an honest statement of reality. And yet, what better place for our eyes to be in times like this! We do well to call our family members, friends, colleagues and others to do the same. When our eyes are on the Lord, our faith and our hope is strengthened for it is anchored in His profoundly good character and matchless power to act.

Later on a disciple named Peter would find himself walking on water, until… his eyes shifted from Jesus to the wind (see Matthew 14:30… ‘when [Peter] saw the wind”). Lord, our eyes truly are on You!

Prayer: Lord, in moments like this it is so easy for us to turn our gaze from You to the threats around us – the wind, the armies, the virus. Instead of finding hope in Your grace and strength we allow our hearts to be seized by fear. Honestly, in so many ways we really do not know what to do. In these moments, redirect our vision, that we may see Your glory, be emboldened by Your power and learn to trust Your faithful presence.

Keith Koteskey, M.Div., is Assistant Professor Christian Ministries at Bethel University.