Well with my Soul by Deon Crafford
Judges 6:12-14 12 And the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor.” 13 And Gideon said to him, “Please, my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds that our fathers recounted to us, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian.” 14 And the Lorda] turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; do not I send you?”
Imagine this – you are wallowing in a deep pit of self-pity and depression because of the circumstances that surround you and your people and then an angel of the Lord appears and calls you “oh mighty man of valour”? How crazy must this not have sounded to Gideon because at that moment it is most probably the very last scenario of self-esteem he would have entertained. Things were bad, rotten and dark, and his mind and heart was consumed by what he was seeing and experiencing. He immediately starts by questioning God on why He would allow this situation with a people he saved from the slavery of Egypt. He is perplexed, possibly angry and most definitely very dark in heart. It continues when he needs to build up an army and he gets the magnificent number of 300 men to go into battle with. This after he tested God numerous times with the dew and the fleece. Gideon is not the picture of optimism and faith here – anything but.
We’re as prone as Gideon to fall into the trap of self-pity. There are so many reasons why we do this e.g. seeking spiritual balance (good must deliver good); measuring by worldly standards (comparison); shortsightedness (not seeing the bigger God picture); harbouring bitterness and anxr – confronts us with such words: “oh mighty man/woman of valour”. Is it not then that God makes us realise again that we have a greater mission here on His earth than what self-pity and negative circumstances can drown out? All of us are guilty of sinking into drifting sand pits where we need to be rescued from by a stark reminder of the purpose-filled existence God had authored for us. We’re supposed to be much, much bigger than our circumstances because God did something much, much bigger than our merit when we were welcomed into His salvation army.
Let’s be honest, life can be very hard and challenging. Only false super-spirituality will make us believe otherwise. It often is a grind and a very painful and taxing one. I do not think that God for a moment laughs away the situations we grapple and battle with in a dismissive judgement of our weakness. We know that we matter to Him, if proven by none other than the fact that we are still here. We know He has a purpose for each and every one of us, regardless of the magnitude of it. We know that in His eyes we are mighty people of valour. We also know that the first battle we have to be victorious in, is the battle of self-pity – that suffocating narrow little box we keep locking ourselves into. It is time indeed – time to break out and take up the spiritual armour of purpose, following after our Leader and crushing those forces that hold people back from freedom and faith. I’ll start with me….
Love to all