Do you ever feel lost or drowning in your own uncertainties?
That you have so much to overcome?
That you are too ordinary? Not enough?
At times, I am swallowed up by those all-too-familiar feelings of doubt and inadequacy until I feel as if I am suffocating. Unable to serve like I want to, unable to encourage others and lift them up, unable to give of myself unselfishly, and unable to have a heart of true gratitude, praise, and thanksgiving.
And in moments such as those, I try to remind myself of the story of Gideon. Someone who truly in every single sense of the word felt truly inadequate. Not enough. Ordinary. Unable to be used mightily of God.
But, He was.
I love those moments in Scripture that remind us that this person was this, or that, and common, BUT God… for He turns ordinary in extraordinary and elevates common circumstances to moments that are completely uncommon and awe-inspiring.
I was having one of those days recently that I was feeling swallowed up and smothered over, and I read the below devotion from Proverbs 31, and although I am not a mother and my days share very little in common with the author of this post, truth is truth and I gleaned inspiration and encouragement from her sharing her heart’s cry.
It’s the calling of the mighty warrior in all of us. For, I definitely believe it is in there.
We must choose each day to submit to His plans, in His timing and in His way, and to remain mold-able and teachable, and to listen for the cries calling the mighty warriors to “Assemble!”
“When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, ‘The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.’” Judges 6:12 (NIV)
“I remember being a new mom and finding great solace in the bathroom. Some days I wanted to hide in there for long stretches of time from my energetic toddler. My son Ethan loved to turn off the light in the bathroom and shut the door. He would giggle from the other side.
I didn’t care about being in the dark. I was just happy to be left alone for a moment. I didn’t feel at all like a mighty warrior. I felt more like a nobody hiding out.
This is how I imagine Gideon’s disposition was in Judges 6. During this time, the Midianites had overpowered and dominated Israel for seven years. The Israelites hid out in mountains, caves and forts. Like an invasion of locusts, the enemy came in and took over. They destroyed Israel’s crops and devastated the country. In desperation, the people of Israel cried out to God for help.
Perhaps something has overwhelmed you in your life. Maybe you relate to Gideon’s situation like this …
The crying children overpowered the mothers. Because of their whiny, unhappy little ones, the mothers made hideouts wherever they could find them — the bathroom, local coffee shop or hidden in the laundry room. The children wreaked havoc in the kitchen and family room. Their toys were like an invasion of locusts. The mothers, reduced to wearing sweats and cutting up food all day, cried out to God for help.
We can all take heart, because in the midst of Gideon’s hopelessness, God shows up in a big way. While Gideon was hiding in a winepress, threshing wheat, the angel of the Lord appears. This was not just any angel. This is understood to be an Old Testament appearance of God Himself declaring:
“The LORD is with you, mighty warrior” (Judges 6:12b).
“Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?” (Judges 6:14b, NIV)
Gideon may have looked behind him to see if the angel of the Lord was addressing someone else. After all, he was hardly qualified to save Israel, coming from the weakest clan in Manasseh and being the least in his family (verse 15). Yet apparently to God, Gideon was a mighty warrior.
I believe God sees mighty warriors in each of us too. Imagine going about your daily work, making dinner, paying bills or sorting laundry and God appears to you saying, “The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.” This would undoubtedly change your life.
It doesn’t matter how you were raised as a child, whether you’re rich or poor, God makes victors out of the ordinary and overlooked. God seems to delight in working powerfully through unexpected “warriors” such as Gideon, Rahab and Ruth. Don’t let your past determine your present or your circumstances dictate your worth. God is the giver of new life.
Notice God appeared to Gideon in private. Wheat was normally threshed in open spaces, typically on a hilltop so the breeze could blow away the chaff. But fearful of the Midianites, Gideon worked hidden away in a sunken winepress.
God can meet you in the privacy of your home when you’re tending to your family members, thinking no one notices your efforts. You might be caring for a toddler, teenager or aging parent. Or you may be at your job, doing your daily work when God shows up to speak to you. Gideon was a simple man living a normal life, but as he fulfilled his everyday duties, God showed up to do the miraculous.
Gideon was teachable because he listened to what the angel of the Lord said. He rose to the daunting occasion of delivering the Israelites. He didn’t do it perfectly, but God’s strength is perfected in weakness, isn’t it?
So when you look in the bathroom mirror today, what will you see? Even if you’re hiding in there, you can choose to see a mighty warrior for God.”
TRUTH for you Today & Tomorrow:
Judges 8:28, “Thus Midian was subdued before the Israelites and did not raise its head again. During Gideon’s lifetime, the land had peace forty years.” (NIV)
2 Peter 1:3, “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” (NIV)