On my mind lately has been the story of Gideon from the bible. Remember when God told him He would save Israel but Gideon wasn't totally sure he believed so he put out a fleece one night and asked God to make it wet but the ground dry if he heard right. So God did that but he still wasn't sure so he put it back and asked God to make it dry and the ground wet this time. And God did that. And then apparently Gideon believed God because he proceeded to march out with much faith and obeyed every crazy instruction God gave him after that and defeated the Midianites.
So why is this on my mind? I have been thinking of it as I have asked God impossible things and seen him answer.
I am currently thinking of my new job. As I have indicated in past posts, money is a little tight around here. It isn't really anything particularly new, we have been in tight financial spots before, but this time I started feeling like it might be time for me to get a job. Or what I like to call a J-O-B. I had one self employed friend who referred to it as a "job-job". Not just a job where you work but a job where you are employed. Having spent over 10 years primarily supporting ourselves through our business I can tell you there is a difference.
However, with Isabelle only in 1/2 day kindergarten and me having not worked seriously outside the home for most of the last 16 years not to mention the poor economy, I wasn't exactly marketable. Can I also mention I have no college degree and am 16 years behind on office technology and current software. My last job used a DOS based word processor. My resume wasn't going to overwhelm anyone. I am fantastic and brilliant but you have to know me, I come across a little dumb on paper.
None-the-less I really started feeling a strong sense that I should seek a job. I finally told God that I was willing to work but the job would have to fall in my lap if this was the year because I wasn't going to pound the pavement until Isabelle was in 1st grade.
I put out my fleece.
God made it wet.
I noticed my insurance agent took several days to return a phone call because it turned out he was sick. In a follow up email to him I asked him if he was looking for an assistant because I was thinking about getting a part time job. A brief phone call later I was filling out an application, getting approved by the parent insurance company and had a job that met all the criteria I could hope for with hours, flexibility and pay. I never even went in for an interview.
After that initial phone call I asked God to put up a big, tall brick wall if I wasn't supposed to take this job.
I put out the fleece again.
God left it dry. No wall, just a clear, smooth road.
I remember when I first heard God tell me it was time for that second baby I had given up hope for. I had moved on and was perfectly happy with my one and only child and was trying very hard to ignore him. After a few weeks of God harassing me I finally told him that even if I was willing to consider it there was no way I was bringing it up with my equally happy to have an only child husband. So, I told God, go harass him! Wouldn't you know that is exactly what he did and here we are years later with that baby God was preparing us for now in Kindergarten. Thank you Lord for your harassment.
Based on the commentary of my bible and the commentary of my bible commentary book I am not sure this is the exact application of this scripture. There seems to be a criticism of Gideon for asking God to prove himself. Yet right or wrong it seems to me that God honors our human nature of doubt and fear when our motives are bound in faith. Gideon wasn't asking God to perform tricks. He wasn't trying to figure out how much he could manipulate God. He truly was seeking to know and believe. Yes it would be better if he simply had pure faith and believed right away but that isn't real. Our human nature fears and doubts. While it might not be an example of perfect faith God did choose to honor Gideon's request not once but twice. And in doing so Gideon became so convinced of God's promise to save Israel that he willingly sent almost his entire army home at God's command and despite insurmountable odds went confidently to battle against a much larger army and won.
So right or wrong on Gideon's part I think the bottom line is that God knows our faith can be weak at times. We can doubt and be afraid. And he wants to comfort and reassure us.
Not like when my daughter stands in defiance of me and then cries because I hurt her feelings when I got mad and wants me to comfort her. That is not the kind of thing we are talking about here. This is more like when my daughter is afraid of dogs yet I know my friends dog won't hurt her. I am willing to walk her by the dog, pick her up or go pet the dog myself to prove to her that what I am telling her is true. The dog is safe. I would love it if she would just trust me on that but I know her fear comes not from doubt of me but doubt of the dog. So I prove to her. Once the truth is seen she usually plays just fine around the dog. I even heard recently that she dared to pet the dog. Stepping out in faith.
You can read about Gideon and the fleece in Judges 6:36-40. But then you should probably keep reading to see how strong his faith became as he went to battle for the Lord.