Gideon was the same weak man, the people were still in their same immediate difficult plight, but the reality of God's presence changed the prospects of God's people. The promise of God's power, changed the potential of God's chosen servant. Gideon stepped into the reality of being a mighty man of valor not by changing who he was, but by remembering who he was with, and more significantly, who was with him.
Sarah is such a lesson to us. She had waited and waited and waited for her son, and then he arrived. You would think that the story would tell us that she lived content as a result for the rest of her days, but the Bible is too honest for that sort of Disney story telling. The boy was still young when Sarah's eye caught the flourishing laughter of Ishmael, the son of Hagar, her slave, and the woman that Sarah had used and abused as a sordid surrogate when she couldn't wait on the promises of the Lord. Her contentment was lost in the gaze of comparison. This is such a typical human response, finding ourselves unable to be satisfied with the blessings that God has given us, because our eyes are fixed on the blessings that He has given to another.
My relatively short experience of walking with God has shown me clearly that I learn most about God, myself, and how to walk in His love, in seasons of difficulty and distress. I like seasons of prosperity and enjoy them when they come, but prosperity can lead to a presumption of my own capability, while difficulty undeniably declares my dependence on something other than me to sustain me.
I have always wanted to live through a revival where the Holy Spirit is richly poured out amongst His people in tangible and powerful ways. I must confess, that I have become so indoctrinated by our chosen methodologies (many of which are good and right, but some of which we really need to re-evaluate) that I assumed that this revival of God's Spirit would happen in a large gathering, with all of our best Evangelical bells and whistles. But, what if God desires to pour His Spirit out into us in a powerful way while we cannot gather, and what if He needed to break down some of the ways that we think so that He could give us the mind of His Son to think and act in new ways?
How many of us are missing out on the incredible offer of the life of the Kingdom of God because we aren't paying attention or are distracted with our own interests? We are prepared to miss the invitation to the great celebratory life because, truth be told, we think that the one that we are creating is better than the one that is on offer.
FOR EVERY ONE LOOK AT CORONA ... TAKE TEN LOOKS AT CHRIST! It is important in these unprecedented times for our minds to be informed, but it is essential in these unprecedented times for our minds to be transformed.
Our deep desire to offer explanation often functions as the opposite of empathy. We can be too quick to attempt to explain and too slow to lovingly listen. We can be all too willing to analyze another's allotted set of circumstances while much too afraid to allow ourselves to feel another's agony.
We don't like to live with tension. We don't like ambiguity. We don't know how to embrace the word ... AND. What the spread of this virus has been helpful in exposing is that we don't know what we don't know. It has revealed the limitations of our creatureliness in a pretty stark fashion. It is new to everyone and so we are all learning together. You would think that would eliminate our hubris, but it might be making it worse.