Sometimes we gain perspectives and wisdom from the length of our journey. And then there are hardships that teach us lessons we never knew we needed to learn. For Grandmama, I think it was a combination of both.
By the time I was in my twenties she was half way through her eighties. Her pilgrimage included multiple mountain top and valley experiences. As a result, she possessed a quiet strength coupled with a knowing that even if things weren't well, they would be.
"....even if things weren't well, they would be."
Grandmama sat in the passenger seat with her arms gently crossed underneath her chest. It was a portrait of contentment and ease. I, on the other hand, was a worried mess. We were traveling back to my new home and thoughts of the long winding road were getting the best of me. I knew something that fear previously wouldn't allow me to admit. But after we buckled up, I blurted it out,"I don't drive that well."
"We'll be fine" she countered back, "I think you're a good driver.
Her response reminds me of the Angel's words in Judges 6:12 to Gideon, "The Lord is with you, mighty warrior." It was an odd greeting given Gideon's circumstances.
You see, Israel's disobedience landed them in the hands of the Midianites. Even though their oppressors didn't inhabit the land, the strategy they used was crippling. The Midianites allowed the Israelites to work and plant their fields. And just when the harvest was ripe, they invaded and completely destroyed everything, including the livestock. This went on for seven years.
When the Angel encountered Gideon, he was threshing wheat in a winepress. Wind was essential to the process, so under normal conditions this task was done in an open space. But since the enemy was lurking, Gideon found refuge in an unlikely place.
The Angel's words were far from Gideon's reality. It appeared as if Israel's suffering was hidden from God. And by Gideon's own admission, he didn't fit the bill of a mighty warrior. - Judges 6:15
But God had plans for Gideon. And when the Lord's Angel spoke, he awakened the warrior resting inside. The Angel didn't speak to Gideon's current condition. He spoke to who he was destined to become.
"The Angel didn't speak to Gideon's current condition. He spoke to who he was destined to become."
For an hour an half I clinched the steering wheel, not so gracefully, navigating the curves. Gideon struggled with doubt and lost soldiers he thought he needed to defeat his enemies. Thankfully challenges don't dictate outcomes.
Over the years I've traveled those country roads countless times. Eventually I realized what Grandmama knew all along.
Gideon was afraid but, he pushed past his fears and leaned into the presence of God. With only 300 soldiers, he defeated an army of 135,000 because, "the Spirit of the Lord clothed him with power." - Judges 6:34 NLT
Are you feeling unqualified or ill equipped for a task? Does your calling seem impossible? Do you have difficulty seeing yourself the way God sees you? Just know things often appear completely different from what God promises. Focusing on what we see has a way of pulling us off course.
But, meditating on God's Word provides an anchor for the soul. His truth reminds us that we are treasured. We're strong because of His strength. We are chosen and forgiven. We are loved. And we are His. That's who we are. That's who you are.
Your Sister Friend,