Have you ever done something that surprises you because you didnt think you had it in you? I have. There is a king size mattress on my bed that I tried to lift many times but could not. So I just quit trying to do that. We slept on the same surface for years not because I loved that surface. Infact I had come to despise that side of the mattress but just didnt know what to do to turn it over. I guess if I had wanted to do so badly enough, I would have called in some help. But I just lived with the discomfort of that side of my mattress.
Perhaps there is something like that in your life today that you are just living with because you just dont think you can do anything about it. It maybe a behavior or some failing that you just put up with for not knowing what to do. Habits are one of those things that fall into this category a lot and you cringe every time it gets the better of you but you dont think you can do much about it. Maybe its a job you just cannot stand anymore. You tremble at the coming of Monday and have nightmares about going to work. But you realize the family has to be cared for and bills have to be paid. So, you just go there anyways.
This is precisely where the children of Israel found themselves in the time of Gideon. Oppressed and terrorized in every way by all their neighbors in their new land, they were at a loss for what to do about it. They resorted to strategies of their own to try to cope with this oppression. Kind of like what I did with my mattress for awhile. I would slide to the more comfortable part of that surface to avoid the extreme discomfort of it. The Israelites would hide their crops, in caves and trenches to save them. They would thresh their wheat in a winepress for disguise. This is what Gideon was doing one day when God came with a reminder The Lord is with you, you mighty warrior.
Well, one day my daughter was jumping on our bed and the head frame came loose and the bed collapsed on one side. I couldnt move the mattress to see exactly what had happened so I left it like that for days. I would actually sleep on it like that rather than try to do something about it. My wife wisely made her way to another sleeping surface in our house that could hold only one person and left me on a collapsed bed alone. One day, I got fed up with that situation and decided to give it a go. I went to the mattress and lifted it up and pushed it even as it pushed me back to the wall and threatened to crush me there. But I pushed back and back and back until it yielded to this "mighty warrior." After much struggle, I had it just where I wanted it, standing straight up on the wall and I could see what the problem was with our bed and fixed it. Excuses over, I could now do what I was always capable of doing, only I didnt know it for a while.
Gideons reply to Gods word to him is very typical of many of us also. I dont believe in you anymore,after all, where have you been all this time we have been suffering?, he said. Again Gideon doubted that he could do anything about the situation of the Israelites even though God was asking him to go do just that. My clan is the weakest and I am the least in my family, was his reply to God who was speaking with him face to face and saying to him - Go in the strength you have
Only when Gideon got over the disappointment and the doubting of Gods hand in his life, and went to confront their enemies, did he find out what God had put in him. It was then that he realized that his strength is made perfect in your weakness, and that with God all things are possible. God knows what is in you because he put it in you. And he says to you today wherever you may find yourself Go in the strength you have to confront (whatever it is) that you have been thinking you are incapable of dealing with.The Lord is with you.