Monday, August 17, 2015

I Shall Be With You

By Melanie Rigney

The LORD turned to (Gideon) and said, “Go with the strength you have and save Israel from the power of Midian. It is I who send you.” But Gideon answered him, “Please, my lord, how can I save Israel? My family is the lowliest in Manasseh, and I am the most insignificant in my father’s house.”“I shall be with you,” the LORD said to him, “and you will cut down Midian to the last man.” (Judges 6:14-16)

The Lord speaks of peace to his people. (Psalm 85:9)

Jesus said to his disciples: “Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is
Ferdinand Bol [Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons
to enter the Kingdom of heaven. Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and said, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “For men this is impossible, but for God all things are possible.” Then Peter said to him in reply, “We have given up everything and followed you. What will there be for us?” Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you that you who have followed me, in the new age, when the Son of Man is seated on his throne of glory, will yourselves sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.” (Matthew 19:23-30)

Lord, help me to remember that even when I don’t believe in myself, You are there to love and guide me.

Gideon knew precisely who he was: the least of the least in Manasseh. And yet the Lord chose him to deliver the Israelites from the Midianites, in a situation where the Israelites were so outnumbered there could be no question that the victory belonged to God.

The disciples knew it was impossible for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle. So, if it was even more difficult those who were rich to enter the kingdom, what hope did anyone have? And when Peter noted their giving up of “everything,” Jesus challenged the group further—had they given up their lands, their homes, their loved ones? If not, their place in the new age would not be guaranteed.

It’s hard to understand why the Lord who loves us so would strip away the people and things we hold dearest, that give us comfort on the journey. It’s harder still to understand just what the Lord sees in us that makes Him believe we can do that, and other seemingly impossible things He desires of us. Like Peter, we protest we’ve already done so much, or, like Gideon, we protest the request is too much. May we have the faith and strength in both situations to instead believe… and say yes, remember He is always with us.

What does God want that you feel ill-equipped to provide? Talk with a spiritual adviser about how you might move beyond this lack of belief in yourself—and Him.

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