When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”
“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.”
The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and saveIsrael out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”
“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”
The Lord answered, “I will be with you…”
I am slowly over time through many hurdles, but in the crucible of experience finally beginning to realize that it’s the Lord’s word, and precisely his will that makes all the difference. It’s not at all about me, in fact when I can think of myself as completely lost and out of the mix due to this or that, that’s when I can learn the most, and actually find the Lord most present.
One of the keys is to refuse to let what might be at the moment an obsession define us. Gideon let all his shortcomings in regard to how he saw himself define him, so that he was ready to argue with the angel of the Lord, and refuse the calling which seemed quite beyond him and his capabilities. And of course it was. But the point God was making to Gideon is that God would be with him, and God’s will would be done.
Along with the importance of not letting ourselves be defined by our own weakness and shortcomings, we also need to learn to define ourselves in terms of God’s calling and will for us in Jesus. So that we learn to move forward and keep on keeping on in the will of God, when it may seem more futile or with less promise than ever. What we need is the sense, or to hold on to the promise of God’s call. And to remember that the Lord’s strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:1-10).