Sometimes I get up at five in the morning and you can find me sitting criss-cross-applesauce in the middle of my bed with prayer journals and inspirational books, my She Reads Truth Bible and notebooks all around me. I make tea. I play instrumental music. I even pray.
Sometimes I do that.
And sometimes I teach 5th Grade.
Ha. ha. ha. What. Joy. It. is. to. laugh.
The other day I stumbled into the bathroom, turning the shower on with one hand and accessing my Bible app with the other. It was my hope that if I hit “play” and let whatever passage I am currently supposed to be reading filter through the shower steam I might somehow glean some knowledge from the Word by osmosis if nothing else.
My brain finally tuned in somewhere in the middle. Bible guy was reading about Gideon. I went from half asleep to whole awake in a matter of seconds. A story I had heard my whole life, a story I had read multiple times, spoke to me in a new way when I realized:
God comes to this man cowering in a wine press. He calls him “mighty warrior.” He commands him to tear down his father’s idols. He commissions him with the task of fighting in His name. He coddles him through a ridiculous series of fleeces and tests. I knew all that. I understood all that. That’s not what got me. My ears zeroed in on the part where Gideon is told to start dismissing soldier after soldier from the army.
God adds a task beyond imagining to the “To Do” list.
Then He immediately subtracts the resources with which to accomplish that task.
God tells Gideon to triumph in battle, while simultaneously taking his tools.
When Gideon turns to God in bewilderment the Lord lets him know it’s all good:
“With the three hundred men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands. Tell everyone else to go home.”
Could it be I think, not for the first time but not often enough, that it’s not about me? That it’s not about my resources? That when I look at what He wants me to do the tools don’t matter as much as I think?
What if I already have whatever I need to triumph?
What if, whatever He’s given me, that’s what I need?
What if I don’t truly need anything more than everything I have?
When He first finds him he says it, the angel of the Lord to Gideon. He calls him “Mighty Warrior.”
He tells him, this man who is the very least man of the very least family in the very least tribe in his nation:
“Go in the strength you have.” (Judges 6:14)
Go in the strength you have. I am shaken from head to knees.
“Am. I. Not. Sending. You?”
And I realize:
You can come with your excuses.
You can put out your fleeces.
You can know all your weaknesses.
But though your resources dwindle and your family is not prominent and your faith is not mighty you are His even so.
And if He has sent you that is all. you. need. to. know.
So go ahead Gideon.
Go ahead and go.
You can go confidently into the place where He calls you right now, with the strength that you have, no matter how little that is.
You can do that because, it’s not you who does the work. Is it?
“This can be nothing other than the sword of Gideon son of Joash, the Israelite. God has given the Midianites and the whole camp into his hands.”