Yesterday we picked up some Mexican food for lunch. Aaron loves to watch a show while we eat, so he busied himself with getting his lunch spot ready while I was in the kitchen. I walked into the family room and saw these two plates on the floor beside his ottoman.
Most people would wonder why Aaron needed two plates since part of his food was already in a container. But I know Aaron and I know that he must put his food and even his food container on a plate. It’s a small price for me to pay in order to have Aaron content and happy. I knew that on one plate he would place his container of nachos, and on the second plate he would place his tacos.
More importantly, Aaron knew what would go on those two plates. He had plans for those plates, even if no one else knew or understood his plate’s purposes. Though empty, in Aaron’s mind those plates were already full of his lunch food.
I was reminded of Aaron’s plates this morning as I read Joshua 17:14-18. Joshua had been assigning the land of Israel to the 12 tribes. Ephraim and Manasseh complained, though, that the land they were given wasn’t large enough. Joshua told them to clear out the forested land, then, to give themselves more room.
“Oh, but the Canaanites who live there have chariots of iron,” Ephraim and Manasseh said.
“Then you shall drive them out,” replied Joshua, “even though they have chariots of iron and though they are strong.”
You see, the real problem with these two tribes of Joseph was that they did not trust God’s adequacy to meet their need. They were focused on the strong chariots instead of on their strong God.
The same God who had said, “When you go out to battle against your enemies and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt, is with you.” (Deuteronomy 20:1)
It’s like they had Aaron’s two empty plates but didn’t trust that God had all they needed to fill the plates.
They needed to step out in obedience and then watch God give them victory.
“…we will see little of His power until we venture out into the way of obedience; until we trust His promise enough to walk in it.” (Dale Ralph Davis)
I looked at Aaron’s empty plates laying there on the floor and knew exactly what he was doing.
So may I also place my empty plates down and trust God to fill them with all that He knows I need for each day…each decision…each trial…each heartache.
“Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)