One of my favorite Bible stories is the tale of Gideon. He is the ultimate underdog who leads a handful of men to bring down the oppressors of Israel, bringing freedom for his people. But while his story gives us courage in the Lord’s victory, it also brings to light many intriguing aspects of the Lord’s relationship with Gideon.
For those of you not so familiar with this story, Gideon lived in Israel during the times of the judges. Because the Israelites chose to ignore their covenant with God, they were handed over to be oppressed by the Midianites. In Judges chapter 6, Gideon encounters the angel of the Lord, who calls Gideon out to raise up and lead the Israelites out of Midianite control.
But what I find the most intriguing is Gideon’s first response to the angel. He straight-up questions what the angel says. He wants to know why his people have suffered such terrible oppression if the Lord is, in fact, “with” them, as the messenger claims. He wants to see the miracles he’s heard about in Egypt. He feels like the Lord has abandoned Israel.
What is even more amazing is the Lord’s response. He could have pointed out that Israel was only in this position because of her own actions and rebuked Gideon for outright insubordination. But instead, the messenger simply continues to communicate that Gideon is to be the one to lead Israel out of oppression.
What’s more is that even as Gideon continued to express doubt in himself and doubt in God, the Lord continued to prove Himself to Gideon. Instead of deciding to give up and find someone else to lead or being angry, God chooses to continue pursuing a relationship with Gideon that will cause him to grow in faith and leadership.
So what does this mean for us, as modern Christians? How does this relationship between an unlikely military hero and the Lord impact our relationships with God?
Often in the church, we tend to condemn those that have questions and doubts and fears, saying that they should have faith instead. But how can we grow in faith without these questions and insecurities being challenged? How can we learn to choose to trust without knowing how it feels to truly fear?
I would posit that God loves to use our fears and doubts and questions as a means to not only grow our faith deeper, but to strengthen our relationship with Him. That He likes to use whatever we bring to the table to take us into a deeper place with Him.
Because the truth of the matter is, that God is bigger than our questions. He designed our minds and there is therefore nothing we can think that is above what He can think.
While our fears are crippling and overwhelming, He remains unafraid by what causes us to hide in wine-presses.
God loves to renew our minds by showing us the world from His perspective. He chooses to walk alongside us to gently correct our thoughts and actions to bring us into alignment with Himself.
And so it becomes abundantly clear that God never abandons us. In fact, when we feel the most alone is when He is most seeking relationship with us. That God uses the hardest of circumstances to grow our faith through the context of relationship. All we have to do is choose to place our trust in Him, even when it seems illogical.
Angela is a writer of songs and articles currently residing in the Denver area. She is a coffee connoisseur and lover of clever song lyrics. She geeks out over Harry Potter, black light mini golf , The Legend of Zelda, and macaroni and cheese.