The horse is made ready for the day of battle but the victory belongs to the Lord.
For decades I have spent time in both an evening devotional, preparing for sleep, and in a morning devotional time preparing for the day. The morning preparation involves reading scripture and devotional thoughts, considering the challenges I will face that day, spending time in prayer, and getting the right attitude in my heart to face the day. If you are going out to do battle, you should be prepared mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and physically.
The verse above arrested my attention when I was working as a salesman. If there is ever a person who feels he is doing battle daily it is a salesman! The verse was a reminder that despite my dutiful preparation, there would always be a number of circumstances that would be beyond my control, numerous things I would have to leave in the hand of God.
Time and chance happen to us all, as wise Solomon wrote:
I have seen something else under the sun:
The race is not to the swift
or the battle to the strong,
nor does food come to the wise
or wealth to the brilliant
or favor to the learned;
but time and chance happen to them all.
Moreover, no man knows when his hour will come:
As fish are caught in a cruel net,
or birds are taken in a snare,
so men are trapped by evil times
that fall unexpectedly upon them.
This helps us to keep life in perspective, to keep God being God, and to understand our place in the order of things. Not every failure is our fault. We are often “trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly” upon us. The test of our moral strength and courage is our capacity for enduring these times and situations with grace and vision.
We should prepare ourselves for the challenges we face, prepare our hearts to love and to learn that day, commit our way unto the Lord, yet we also must let God be God. Everyday things happen surprisingly to us, but not to God. The one thing we must always do in devotional times is tether our hearts to His, to bind them to His through faith. Whether we live or die we do so in the Lord, today and for always.
Lord, this day and this evening let us live for You and with You. As we prepare our hearts to face the challenges of the dark and of the day, let us accept that You alone can see into the future and our chief preparation must always be to put our souls in Your hands. Amen.