Have you ever been afraid? If so, then you are part of a small, very selective group known as… the entire population.
That’s right, you are not alone; everyone has been afraid at some point in their life. Fear is normal and completely legitimate. However, fear can cause us to act irrationally.
It can make us doubt ourselves, doubt our circumstances, and we can even begin to believe the lies that our fears tell us.
Sometimes, all we want is to know what to do. We would love to have a sign, a giant neon one with an arrow on it, pointing us down the path we should take. Often, we feel alone in our fears, believing that no one understands.
Gideon was just like you and me. He had seen the injustice of his people, and he was focused on his circumstances. Then an angel of the Lord showed up and told Gideon that he was a mighty warrior.
Whoa, hang on. Hold the phone. Imagine if you had an angel telling you that you are something quite the opposite of what you think you are.
Don’t be too surprised, because that is what happens to us every time we read Scripture. God tells us who we are, even when we don’t believe it to be true.
Gideon was like the runt of the litter, though. He was from the weakest clan, and he was the weakest in his family. He was much like Bilbo Baggins in “The Hobbit,” an unlikely hero.
The angel tells Gideon that he will lead an army in victory. At this point, Gideon is really wondering if someone is messing with him because he is not a mighty warrior, or a leader of anything.
Gideon never tells the angel “no,” but he does give excuses as to why he can’t do what the angel wants him to do. He responds the same way you and I would. Who am I? I’m not capable of doing that! I’m the least of the least! If you’re really with us, why has all this other stuff happened?
Then he says:
17Gideon replied, “If you are truly going to help me, show me a sign to prove that it is really the Lord speaking to me. 18Don’t go away until I come back and bring my offering to you.” He answered, “I will stay here until you return.”
Gideon needs a sign. When the angel tells him all the things that he is going to do, he needs reassurance. He needs to know that it is really God telling him what to do. Most people might be appalled by his questioning of the angel, but the reality is, we do the same thing.
God, if you would just show me a sign. God, if it’s really you, can you make it very clear to me?
The angel responds gracefully, “I will stay until you return.” In other words, he is saying:
“No problem Gideon, I know this is hard for you to understand, especially with everything that is going on around you, because of your past, and because everyone else is telling you something different. I will wait here, so that you know that what I say is true.”
The angel of the Lord was patient with Gideon, even when Gideon challenged him.
God is patient with us in the very same way. He will never leave us nor forsake us. He will always remind us of who we are, even if we don’t believe it ourselves.
How have you noticed, or not noticed, the patience of God in the midst of your fears?
Lord, remind me of who you say I am. Help me to walk in the strength that you have provided for me today. Allow me to not give into my fears of not being adequate and to rest in the grace that you offer. Amen.
This post was written by Stephen Dull. Stephen is a Continuous Improvement Engineer, Triathlete, and Blogger. He is passionate about Faith, Finances, Fitness, and helping men to discover their God-given dream. He has a lovely wife and 2 beautiful daughters. You can follow him on twitter @maxxdull or on his website: www.the360manproject.com
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