Role Models II
Last week, I talked about how I had looked in the Bible for a person who had the same problems with anxiety and timidity that I do. While praying one day, I thought of Gideon.
When God first calls Gideon, he calls him a mighty warrior. But his actions don’t fit our idea of a mighty warrior. When we meet Gideon, he is hiding in a wine press to thresh wheat so the invading Midianites can’t take it. And Gideon carries out God’s first order, destroying his father’s altar to Baal, at night because he is afraid of his family and neighbors.
When God inspires Gideon to assemble the Israelites to drive out the Midianites. Gideon asks for two signs just to make doubly sure he is doing what God wants. As the Israelites travel to confront the Midianites, God tells Gideon he wants him to use fewer men so the Israelites will recognize that it is God who has beaten the Midianites. God tells him to only take three hundred. Gideon must be worried because right before the Israelites attack, God tells Gideon to sneak into the enemy camp and eavesdrop. A conversation between enemy soldiers gives Gideon all the encouragement he needs.
It’s interesting to note that when Gideon has doubts, God is right there to support him. In other stories of the Bible, when a person doubts God, he or she often gets a harsh response from Him. But I think the difference is Gideon doesn’t doubt God and His powers. He doubts himself. I believe God doesn’t mind genuine doubt, if we really have questions that we need answered before we can have confidence in following God’s will.
It’s very comforting to know that God can use me, like Gideon, even when I am scared. I often feel I should have more confidence if I am doing God’s work. But Gideon was scared when he destroyed his father’s altar and still got the job done.
God does such a thorough job of building up Gideon’s confidence throughout the story in Judges that eventually he is ready to lead three hundred men against thousands. He really is the mighty warrior God said he was when He first spoke to Gideon. God knew it all along. Gideon just had to realize it.
Several years ago, I prayed that if God needed to change me into a more Christ-like person to please do it gently and slowly so as not to scared me with His awesome powers. He must have agreed with me because I feel His guidance in gentle nudges rather thunderous blasts. God knows what I need and what I am capable of doing. I just need to realize it and realize God can use a scaredy-cat just as easily as He can a lion.