God had given an incredibly difficult job to Gideon. He was to deliver his fellow Israelites from Midianite oppression. This was no small task, given the numbers of those opposing him. Initially, Gideon protested that he couldn’t do it. But when God promised to help him win the battle, Gideon began to call his army together. Thirty-two thousand warriors are gathered to prepare for battle. Even that number had to seem like nothing in comparison to the innumerable horde they were facing. But they forged ahead with their planning anyway.
But then God did the unthinkable. Citing a concern that the Israelites would boast in their own power after the victory, He had Gideon send over two-thirds of the recruits home! If Gideon had any doubts about facing the Midianites with only 32,000 men, imagine what was going through his mind knowing that he was down to 10,000. But God wasn’t done yet. The next test trimmed the group of 10,000 down to a comparatively tiny handful of only 300 fighting men. Whose side is God on anyway? Is this His way of helping?
I don’t know how it is for you, but when God calls upon me to do something, my thoughts usually focus on counting my resources. Do I have the abilities and the assets to meet the need? How can I arrange those abilities and assets to best address the problem? But when I consider that approach, I realize that I am focusing on me instead of focusing on God. Like Gideon, maybe it would be better for me if God would limit my options instead of increasing them. Instead of me praying to God for more of this or that, perhaps it would be better to pray that God would arrange circumstances so that I would trust Him more than I trust in myself.
Do I really have faith if I only respond to God when I think I can handle it? I show real trust by facing life’s struggles when I know I can’t do it on my own.
God loves you!