This past weekend, my sister and her hubby were with us and we all played the old game of “Life.” Brian and I have a newer, slightly more advanced version than my parents do and it turned out to be a lot of fun! As my dad kept saying, “This isn’t a kid’s game anymore!” 🙂 But, we also kept saying, “Man, this sure IS fantasy!” Andy became an athlete, I won a prize for a book I authored, Brian became a millionare, and my mother was an artist. Yup. Fantasy.
In real life, I tend to feel more like Gideon these days. I seriously rock between the emotion of ecstatic – exhilarated, can’t wait to go! – to the emotion of, and I quote myself, “I’m not going.” I was talking with some good friends from CIT this week, who are both already overseas, and we all agreed that most days, we do not have that adventerous missionary spirit that you read about it in those awesome missionary biographies. I remember reading about Gladys Alyward and Mary Slessor and thinking – wow – I wish I was like that. I wonder if they ever struggled with the inner turmoil that we do now? I bet they do. I just bet they covered it up a lot better!!
I was reading Judges this week and that’s why I keep referring to Gideon. In Judges 6, we find Gideon literally at the bottom of a winepress threshing wheat so he wouldn’t be found by the Midianites. You know the story…the Lord calls him, “Mighty hero”, and Gideon basically says, “Say what? I’m the least of the least of the least of the bottom of the barrel. You can’t possibly use me!!” And then, I love this line…the angel of the Lord says, “Go with the strength you have and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!”
I had to read it like three times… “Go with the strength you have…I am sending you!” Wow. That’s so where I’m at these days. I feel so useless, so unprepared, so NOT adventerous.
“My strength is made for perfect in your weakness,” says the Lord.
“Have I not COMMANDED you? Be strong and VERY courageous! Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged.”
“Go in the strength that you have…I will be with you.”
I’m so glad the Lord put stories of people like Gideon in the Bible. Even Moses wasn’t exactly adventerous and tough. Moses didn’t even WANT the job and made up every excuse in the book to get out of it. And yet, Deuteronomy closes out by saying, “There has never been another prophet like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face.”
At least I’m normal in these fears. And at least I’m not putting out a fleece every night asking the Lord for a sign. Doesn’t mean I don’t want to…but at least I haven’t acted on it, right? 🙂
In the game we played this weekend, a lot of twists and turns were pulled. I mean, Andy switched careers like three times and Dad’s doctor career didn’t exactly pay off like he’d expected! But, we had to admit, those twists and turns made it so much more fun and way more interesting than we thought it would be.
I may never win that prize for writing an amazing novel. I may never be that great, adventerous, tough missionary that will be talked about for generations to come. But, I’m going with the strength that I have because in the end, God will do my fighting and that’s all that matters. I truly enjoy being an empty vessel. I don’t have any of “me” that would get in the way, slosh over the top, dillute what God wants to do, and make a huge mess in the process. If I’m an empty vessel, then I can “play” this game of Life exactly how the Lord wants me to and He will get done exactly what He wants to get done through me.
I’m so thankful for Gideon and Moses. They give me hope that in my weaknessess, I can do great things for God.