By: Carole L. Haines
11 Then the angel of the Lord came and sat under the oak that was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, as his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press in order to save it from the Midianites. 12 And the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “The Lord is with you, valiant warrior.” 13 Then Gideon said to him, “O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did the Lord not bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and handed us over to Midian.” 14 And the Lord looked at him and said, “Go in this strength of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you?” 15 But he said to Him, “O Lord, how am I to save Israel? Behold, my family is the least in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father’s house.” 16 Yet the Lord said to him, “I will certainly be with you, and you will defeat Midian as one man.”
I just love the story of Gideon. A man who considers himself the least amongst his people, is the one God chooses to defeat the current enemy of Israel. God didn’t rebuke Gideon for his response of, “The Lord has now abandoned us!” It’s almost as if God sees Gideon’s response as strength, because He says, “Go in this strength of yours.” Gideon was hiding in a winepress from his enemy, barely scratching out an existence. But then God shows up.
Oh, don’t you just love these true stories of how God shows up. I love to hear other people share about how God met them in a dark place of struggle in ways they were not even looking for. I have those stories too. But one of the most important things in this story, is how God greets Gideon. He doesn’t greet him as he is now, but as he will be when he puts his trust in The Lord. “Hail valiant Warrior!” How amazing that God changes our name from what we say of ourselves, how we see ourselves, to His view of us.
I used to be a grumbler and a complainer, then I read the story of Barnabas in the book of Acts.
36 Now Joseph, a Levite of Cyprian birth, who was also called Barnabas by the apostles (which translated means Son of Encouragement), 37 owned a tract of land. So, he sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
I asked God to make me a daughter of encouragement instead of a Grumbler. Now my whole Ministry is based on encouraging others. He called me as He saw me, His “Daughter of Encouragement, His Song of Joy.” Dear Believers, ask God to show you who you are in His eyes. Stop believing all the lies. God calls us as He sees us, and it’s a wonderful thing.