Have you ever tried to make a deal with God? Have you tried to bargain with him to get out of something you sense he’s calling you to do, something you don’t want to do because it’s uncomfortable, challenging, or inconvenient? Did you try to give a half-hearted effort to show God that it wasn’t something you could do? Did he call your bluff?
Just me? I don’t think so because there’s a story in the Bible that sounds very familiar. It’s along the lines of how I tried to get out of something God wanted me to do.
In Judges 6-7, we read about Gideon, a young boy threshing wheat in a winepress to try to hide his activity from the Midianites. God sends an angel who tells him to save Israel from its oppressive rulers. Gideon tries to make excuses for why he can’t do it, but God shows him his power and tells him he will be with him.
Gideon obeys God’s first order to destroy an altar to a foreign god and build one to God in its place, but he does so under the cover of night because he’s afraid. God then gives him a second order, to lead the Israelites into battle against the Midianites. Gideon asks for a sign from God twice to prove that God is really calling him to do it. God provides the proof, and Gideon moves forward, obeying God completely and defeating the Midianites.
Gideon experiences fear and tries to wriggle out of the difficult and uncomfortable tasks God has assigned to him. But God does not give up on Gideon or make him feel bad for needing reassurance. He is patient and helps Gideon overcome his reluctance and fear, providing him with what he needs in order to be faithful and complete God’s instructions.
Several years ago, I was struggling with a couple of my friendships. Both people were dealing with difficult situations and were in very negative headspaces. I wanted to be able to support and encourage them, but after each get-together, I felt drained and frustrated. I didn’t think there was anything I could really do to help. I couldn’t change their circumstances. I was tired of helping them carry their heavy burdens.
Read the rest over at The Glorious Table.