I felt as if God orchestrated my being able to go to camp this year. The cat was so sick, and I was so worried. Then suddenly, he was reasonably well again, and my fears about leaving him evaporated. I found myself excited about going to camp (I'm a homebody who tends to dread leaving) and completely looking forward to it.
As an adult leader, I assumed God wanted me there for the students. Little did I realize that He really seemed to want me there to wake me up.
The week's theme was Move: The Faith Journey. The morning bible studies revolved around Moses and his call to lead the Israelites out of captivity and back to their promised land. His was certainly a faith journey of epic proportions, but it wasn't his story that spoke so firmly to me. It was Gideon's.
The camp speaker used different biblical passages each evening, including Micah 6, 1 Kings 18, and Matthew 17. But it was Gideon's story in Judges 6 that really slapped me awake.
The Midianites were holding the Israelites captive by destroying their crops and livestock. Gideon was secretly threshing wheat in a winepress when the angel of the Lord came to him and told him that he would save the Israelites. This didn't seem possible, as Gideon was the youngest in his family, and his family was from the smallest tribe. Gideon told the Lord that, but it didn't matter. The Lord let him know that as long as He was on Gideon's side, things would work out. The Lord even made a point of that by using a mere 300 men armed only with torches and trumpets to defeat the Midianites.
The message in a nutshell: If God is calling you to do something, he will equip you to be able to do it. When you're following God's calling, he will make you successful.
I shared with my youth that several years ago, I felt the need to write a youth-based bible study on a specific biblical passage. My own fear of failure and general laziness about it caused me to do nothing. I even had a story published in that time, which should have given me the clue that I am a good enough writer to do this. Yet, I still did nothing. That urge was there for a few years and then suddenly... it was gone. All I can figure is that God decided that if I wouldn't do it, then he'd pass the job on to someone who would.
In recent months I've been encouraged again in various ways to start writing devotional materials. In fact, I had a Christian writing opportunity drop right into my lap out of nowhere. And you know what? I did nothing about it. So when I say that this Gideon lesson spoke to me, I mean that it actually smacked me in the face and knocked me off kilter.
I have some work to do.