But they have chariots!

April 30, 2020

Scripture Readings

I am a person plagued by fear. 

I fear writing, both work and creative. Every time I set out to write a play, I fear I won’t be able to see it through to the end or make it good enough for the stage. Every job I land, I’m afraid I won’t be able to perform adequately; I’m sure this time I’ll be found out for the fraud that I am. And, on the darker side, I fear I’m to blame for my broken relationship with my mom and her eventual demise. That one leads me to fear what other relationships I could destroy.

Fear is my constant companion.

In Joshua, we have some fearful Ephraimites. They come to Joshua, talking about how numerous they are, and say they need more space. Josh basically says, “There’s plenty of space. Take the lowlands.” But the mighty and many Ephraimites are scared. They say they’d go and take the land, but the Ca-naanites there have iron chariots.

Now, chariots were high tech at the time, and the Ephraimites didn’t have cavalry to counter them. But while these folks hadn’t witnessed the Egyptian plagues or the splitting of the sea, they did see the Jordan River stand still, and they did see the walls of Jericho crumble to dust at the sound of their trumpets. You can almost hear Joshua going, “Chariots? You’ve seen the very hand of God, and you’re worried about chariots?” 

That’s fear for you: Totally irrational. And yet, I say, “But they have chariots!” all the time: 

I can write plays, but not this play. 

I’ll fail at this job. It’s communications. I don’t know how. 

Mom was sick, but if I had been stronger, she’d still be here. I will be the ruin of people who love me.

My fears are not sensible; they’re as ludicrous as the Ephraimites’. But they’re real to me. That’s why I need passages like the one today. I, too, have seen God’s hand in my writing and my relationships. And some days, I need to hear the response Joshua gives: “Chariots? That’s ridiculous. And, by the way, how long are you going to wait before you take the victory God’s already given you?”

If you’re afraid today, hear the words of the Lord to be strong and courageous, and hear Joshua’s en-couragement to take hold of the victory that God has already given.


Adam Schnell

Beloved playwright of Foothills who loves helping people think about Jesus.