Posted by: kathryngraves | May 3, 2012

What to Do When Trouble Comes

“And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said to him, ‘The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!’ Gideon said to Him, ‘O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying,’Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.'” Judges 6:12-13

Israel was in trouble. They were the people of promise and yet they were impoverished and in hiding because of the Midianites and Amalekites. These people were nomads who swooped in, riding on their camels, from the East. They also brought their livestock, which ate up Israel’s crops. These were fierce, fearsome warriors.

Our trouble swooped in on us, too. In another letter I say my body felt like it had been trampled by a herd of horses. I could have said camels! Sometimes I’ve wondered, like Gideon in verse 13, “if the Lord is with us, then why has all this happened to us?” and, “Where are the miracles?”

Notably, God didn’t answer those questions for Gideon. He didn’t focus on the past. Instead He told Gideon to go and save Israel because Gideon was sent by God. Not only that, but God said, “go in this might of yours.” Whatever strength he had. Which couldn’t have been much. The rest of chapter six and chapter seven tell how Gideon obeyed God and in chapter eight we read about Israel’s defeat of the Midianites with Gideon as their leader. Wow!

Sometimes I think we focus so much on our desire to know why bad thing happen that we miss what God wants to do with us for the future. You and I, like Gideon are at our weakest right now. All the props have been knocked away. It’s you and me and God against the world and we don’t count for much. But this kind of situation is precisely when God delights to do His greatest work!

It is scary. But if we’ll obey, starting with the small stuff, God will go to work on our behalf. God didn’t send Gideon up against the Midianites right away. He gave Gideon some other, smaller tasks first. When  He saw that Gideon would obey wholeheartedly, then God performed the big miracle.

We don’t have to be strong, just obedient. And God doesn’t answer the “why.” Just the “what.”

So I’m asking God what He wants me to do today, even if it seems hard. I want to be found obedient.


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