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Bad news takes the starch out of our knees.

I don’t know why public bathrooms are my go-to in a crisis. They just are. Maybe it’s because I travel a lot, but when I look back at some of the worst news, I received it away from home. At a conference. In an airport. Standing in a group of women waiting for me to share encouragement or teaching.

When we receive bad news or we face hard things, we feel it physically. We want to sit down. We want to release those tears. We crumple inside, which makes us feel like we’re crumpling outwardly.

And if you are in a public place, you aren’t going to swoon to the floor. You find a bathroom. You pray it’s clean. If not, you perch. (You know what I mean.)

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This summer has been a crazy whirlwind of bad news. I’ve done a lot of bathroom time, me and the Lord hashing it out. Me reaching for him. My Savior’s presence crowding in that stall with me, because He’s all in during the hard times.

After months, it seems that we are finally moving out of the hardest places. There are scars — literally. There are bills. There are a stack of cards that show how people wrapped around us. Yet the most symbolic evidence of this battle comes when I look at my knobby knees, and those of our loved ones.

And we are all still standing.

That makes me want to dance. You know, an old people dance with your hands in the air and slightly off rhythm hip move to the right as I twirl around.

What I love about faith is that even when our knees are knocking, and our hearts are beating fast, scripture shows us what to do. All throughout scripture, we are told to “stand firm.”

Standing firm is a belief that God is fighting for you. You stand firm as you trust that God is on the scene. You stand firm as you pray and know that your words really do reach his ears.

I never thought of my knees as an outward reflection of my inward faith, but it’s a beautiful thought.

But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the Lord’s victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out there tomorrow, for the Lord is with you! 2 Chronicles 20:17 (NLT)

When God spoke those words to Jehoshaphat, he called him out of the “bathroom.” He was aware that his knees were crumbling under him. God wasn’t asking this warrior not to do anything. Jehoshaphat had a part to play in the battle. We all do.

Yet his (and our) strongest move is finding a position, and standing firm while God does the heavy work. As a nation we’re in a battle. Some of you are waging private wars in your marriage or closest relationships. Our family had three diagnoses of cancer in three months and it’s been overwhelming.

We will have some bathroom time where we cry out to God, but then we’ll find our position and we’ll stand firm.

If God is with us, we can rest even in a hard place.

If God is with us, we can take our position in the battle.

If God is with us, we can rest inwardly even as it appears the world is falling apart.

Standing firm is trusting. It’s acting. It’s praying. It’s believing. It’s loving. It’s trusting.

I can almost hear it now. All those knees knocking in harmony and then dying away as the rhythm of our faith starts humming louder.

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