Whenever we are called upon to do a task, most of us think about the skills we have and the resources at our disposal before we start the project. We go to google and look on the web for directions on how to get the project done. We may call a friend who is knowledgeable for advice as well. We may find as we investigate our resources that we are woefully inadequate to do the task and run from it. The task may in our minds be too big and use the tactic of procrastination to prolong the inevitable conclusion that we just can’t do the project. We might use this tactic in hopes that someone else will take the task and run with it so we don’t have too.
I know that I have used at some points in my journey every one of these tactics when faced with a project at home or at work. Rarely have I used the statement that I am too weak. Stating that we are too weak would cut at the very core of our being. We live in a society in which weakness is not a virtue and is to be squashed at all costs. To be weak is to communicate that you are a failure.
But I came across a passage in the bible in which the Lord was asking Gideon to do a project for him. It was at a time when the nation of Israel was controlled by the Midianites and would come on a regular basis into the land and destroy all the crops and take all the animals. God comes to Gideon and asks him to take up the mantle for Israel. The messenger who was sent was an angel. “The angel of the LORD came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, “The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.” “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the LORD has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.” The LORD turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?” “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” The LORD answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.””Judges 6:11-16 NIV
Gideon began to question God’s power and wonders of the past because nothing is happening in the present. The Lord responded to Gideon by saying, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel . . .” Gideon realized that he had no strength within himself to do the task he was being called upon to do because he was the least in his house and his family was the least in his tribe. He was saying that his family had no skills to do this task and he had no skills to do this. He was weak. He was inadequate. He couldn’t do it on his own.
God responded to Gideon by saying that He would be with him and He would give Gideon victory. When we are weak, it opens that way for God to come along side us and give us the support we need. He waits for us to see our inadequacy. Our weakness. It’s at that point that He steps into our lives and the tasks that we have and gives us guidance and direction.
On this journey, God is waiting for us to recognize our inadequacy and our weakness so that His power can be manifest in and through us. Our only task is to recognize our weakness.