When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”
“But sir,” Gideon replied, “if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our fathers told us about? . . . But now the Lord has abandoned us . . . ” Judges 6: 12 – 13
Do you believe in miracles? Have you ever experienced one? Do you sometimes feel as if you just need a small one to give you assurance that God hasn’t abandoned you and is still with us?
We can realize that life on this earth is a miracle in itself as the sun rises and sets, the moon and stars appear in the skies, the rains fall, there is air to breathe, babies are born, and our bodies work as miraculously as they do. But sometimes we want more – just to give us the confidence that He is with us, watching over us with His love and care.
A young man from the pages of Scripture also needed a sign, and the story is known as “Gideon and the fleece.” Israel had once again drifted away from God after they were delivered into their Promised Land and were being ravaged by other eastern nations. While serving as a judge and military leader to his people, Gideon was visited by an angel of the Lord who told him to free the people from the terror of their enemies.
But humble Gideon was unsure of his ability and of God’s command. The angel encouraged him on with these words, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”
But Gideon questioned him with the response, “If the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our fathers told us about?”
The Lord assured him that He would be with him to fight the battle, but Gideon needed more. It was as if he was saying to the Creator of the Universe, “God, I need to see a miracle. I need to know it’s really you.”
He then laid a wool fleece on the ground, asking God to “first make it wet when the ground around it was dry,” and if He did so, He would know God was with him and that He could save Israel by his own hand. He goes even further by making one more request – “this time make the fleece dry and the ground wet.”
God patiently gave Gideon the signs he had asked for, but in doing so, He gave him the strength and power to believe that His divine presence was with Him and that He could carry out the task before him, which he did.
God understands our fears and He covers us with His love and compassion. He will be patient with us and give us His power to do amazing things we could never do on our own.
Perhaps God gave us this story as a reminder of His presence with us, always helping to fight any battles we might face in life. For we can’t always base our faith on the “requested” miracles around us as Gideon did. God is not a God of “If this happens, I will be with you”, but He is the God of “I AM” with you.
He is present with us in our PRESENT time and in our PRESENT situations. Our perception of our amazing God and what He can do is often much too small. Our world is full of His wonders and miracles. How many countless interventions He must perform in our lives and in those we care about that we will never know, and how many other wondrous events, we fail to recognize right before us.
We need to expand our view of who God is and see Him all around us, for “our Lord is always with us” and His miracles never end!
Our most gracious and loving Father, thank you for never leaving us, but always gracing us with your presence, strength, courage, and love. Thank you for the stories in your Word that assure us of the strength and power we can find in you. Amen