Several years ago, a ruptured Achilles tendon landed me in a knee-high non-weightbearing cast. A few days later, my opposite leg suffered a knee injury. Those injuries combined ruled out crutches and put me in a wheelchair for three months. But that wasn’t all. Insomnia hit me, too.
Several months prior, I’d accepted a speaking invitation for a women’s conference about 12 hours’ drive from home. As the weekend for that event approached, I chose to do my utmost to honor my commitment. I sat at my desk the day before departure and prayed, “God, I haven’t got a clue how I’m going to do this. I need Your help.”
My gaze fell on a piece of scrap paper on my desk. It contained words scrawled in my handwriting: Go in the strength you have. I will be with you. Gideon. Judges 6:14-16.
At the time, I understood those words to mean I was to go in the physical strength I had no matter how limited, and God’s presence would be my sufficiency. I went, and it was.
Yesterday I spent several hours writing Bible study curriculum focused on Gideon’s life. I returned to Judges 6:14-16, and this time I saw these verses through a different lens.
God spoke these words to Gideon when He tasked him with rescuing the Israelites from the Midianites. Gideon argued that his clan was the weakest in the tribe of Manasseh and he was the least in his entire family. How could he possibly rescue the Israelites?
It appears that, like me, Gideon also assumed God was referring to his physical strength. But maybe that’s not what God meant. Could it be that He had other strengths in mind? If so, what might they be? Humility, perhaps. The willingness to do whatever God said even if it meant doing it afraid? A repentant heart? (Judges 6:22-24)
Sometimes God sees strengths in us that we fail to recognize. He gives us an assignment, and what do we do? Focus on our inadequacies, on those qualities we consider weaknesses.
Maybe we need to reframe the way we see ourselves. Perhaps we need to ask the Lord to help us view ourselves as He does. What strengths does He see in us that we fail to recognize? Here are a couple of examples.
God tasks believers with making disciples of Christ. (Matthew 28:18-20) We respond, “Who am I to do that? I ‘m not a preacher or Bible study leader.” But God sees in us an extraordinary ability to listen well—an important skill in building relationships that could eventually lead to conversations over coffee about Jesus and faith journeys.
God might ask us to show His love to a difficult neighbor or family member. We say, “I can’t do that. I don’t have patience for prickly people.” But He sees in us the ability to discern when someone has a practical need and the willingness to meet that need. Perhaps performing an act of service is the key to unlocking that person’s heart.
God saw something in Gideon that Gideon didn’t see in himself. I’m certain the same is true for us.
Think for a few minutes about how this applies to your life. Ask God to show you a strength He sees in you—one you’ve either never noticed or have seen but not considered a strength. Then post that strength in the comment section. Share with us what He shows you, okay?
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