There is not a secret hideaway that can hide us from God or keep us from his light or comforting presence. We may isolate ourselves from those around us and assume a mode of hibernation, even then, the hand of the Lord will find and lead us.
We find young Gideon in Judges 6, in the refuge of the winepress, threshing wheat, hiding from the Midianites. The son of Joash, from the humble tribe of Manasseh that held no leading position or significance, was secretly tucked away from those he loved and those he feared. As he worked, pondering upon the condition of Israel, the angel of the Lord appeared before him with the greeting, “Jehovah is with thee, thou mighty man of valor.”
The scared young man met God’s greeting with questions: “With me, my master? If God is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all the miracle-wonders our parents and grandparents told us about, telling us, ‘Didn’t God deliver us from Egypt?’ The fact is, God has nothing to do with us — He has turned us over to Midian” (verse 13). “God faced [Gideon] directly: “Go in this strength that is yours. Save Israel from Midian. Haven’t I just sent you?” (verse 14) Gideon said to him, “Me, my master? How and with what could I ever save Israel? Look at me. My clan’s the weakest in Manasseh and I’m the runt of the litter” (verse 15). God said to Gideon, “I’ll be with you. Believe me, you’ll defeat Midian as one man”(verse 16).
God finds us in the ashes of the moment, when we are hiding away from responsibilities that overwhelm us and when the pieces of our lives are up in the air, just as He found Gideon when he was hiding from the terror of his enemies. And what is more, while we are silently or secretly hiding, His makes His presence even more evident and calls us to a task which is greater than our current undertaking or ability.
In Gideon’s call of duty, God saw a scared young man who did not have a prominent position and addressed him as the “mighty man of valor” he would later become. He saw beyond Gideon’s complexes and weaknesses and addressed him according to who he would become….not ignoring who he was. This is how God still operates – He calls us by a courageous name that does not fit our current character and instructs us to move in faith, under His guidance, to defeat the enemy. And did you realize that the angel outlined that the Lord was with Gideonbefore he called him a man of valor? Yes; Gideon was only a man of valor because the Lord was with him. So too, any task we are called to or any potential God sees in us, results only because He is with us.
Pause and think of the winepress or safe house that you secretly find refuge in? He calls you as a friend to come out of your secret hideaway (emotions) and address the fall away of your friendship. Consider the “enemy” that you fear that has you tucked away in your secret hideaway? He calls you wife to come out of your secret hideaway (fear) and defeat your overly aggressive husband with God-like care. What are you postponing to complete in your secret hideaway? He calls you professional to come out of your secret hideaway (comfort) and tackle the task that procrastination has convinced you, can be put off for yet another day.
Expect God to show up in your safe house or place of refuge this week. He will call you by a name that you may feel you do not deserve and give you a task that you may feel disqualified to complete or fulfill. Speak with him as Gideon did. Seek his reassurance before you make the first step to do that which he has called you to do individually. He understands your questions, curiosity, caution and doubt and in mercy He will give you the reassurance you desire. He will also empower you with more than enough reasons why you are fit to work for Him or restore in His name.
Scripture of the week
Psalm 138: 7 – 10 – “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me.”
Love, peace and blessings
(c) 2015, Dentrecia Blanchette