At church on Saturday I was reminded of the triumphant story of GIDEON and his seemingly ill-equipped self and just a few dudes willing to fight with him. So much goodness from all of it, but there’s THIS that just won’t go away…
…and put trumpets into the hands of all of them & empty jars & torches…. [judges 7:16]
Gideon was a scared-y cat, a runt, an unlikely pick to lead an army. He answered God’s call to defeat the enemy. Through a drastic selection process, of sending the scared home, and watching how each of them drank water, God dwindled Gideon’s army down to 300. Through major showing off-because God does that- he handed Gideon and his soldiers
- empty jars
These were their weapons, their tools…well those things and a great faith. Then Gideon instructed his army, to blow their trumpets, to smash their vessels, to hold their torches high. And they were to shout…
For God and for Gideon
I’ve spent most of my life as one form of Gideon’s soldiers. In His process of selecting me, God has tested my vision, my focus. I have willingly left in fear. I have done it wrong and was sent home. I have been handed tools, but instead of great faith, I have compared myself to what my enemies hold, as well as my allies. I have complained and sulked and whined.
I sat in church wondering how many other woman have done the same. How many of us have discarded what God has given us as not worthy to win the battle?
So often we wish we could be artists, or writers. We desire perfectly clean houses, and God-fearing children and a husband who is bound to be called into full time ministry at any moment because of his stellar spiritual leadership.
We hold our trumpet–our noisemaker–and instead of a weapon to slay the day, its sounds more like fighting children, siblings who seem to hate each other. And a snoring husband, who falls asleep before he prays with you.
And we stare at our dishes in the sink for two days & we can’t remember the last time we washed our hair (true story). We don’t even write down our grocery list, much less the next best seller at all the Christian book stores, that all the mom’s who have THEIR *ish together read between yoga and playdates at Chik-fil-a and putting something in the crockpot for dinner.
And we sit and think of the degree we should have finished, and about that other lady at church who leads so well and started her own non-profit and in her first day got 3,000 likes on Facebook, which is weird because there are only like 85 people at your church.
And we want that families income, and her house, and her wedding ring, her job and her self-discipline to wake at 5 am and drink a cup of coffee from the Keurig before Crossfit.
Only to be left to become the noisemaker ourselves (as we yell at our kids) and utterly empty. An empty vessel, nothing left to give. nothing. Hand us a torch, and we will burn it all down, just so we don’t have to do laundry.
But there must be a time — a time in our life — in my life–like now.
Yeah, a time like now.
To rise up, gripping whatever God has handed us…
All of our beauty, all of our flaws, all of our giftedness…
The gift of rocking a baby or saving an animal…
We must embrace our weapons, of kindness, of patience, of love…
Holding tightly to the gift of organizing, or multi-tasking, or encouraging or serving, or just making it through another Monday…
We have weapons of forgiveness, and a clean car and shaved legs…
All of them exactly held by the exactly right person.
We are not noisemakers!
We are trumpets, sounding loudly to drown out the voice of comparison, rejection, shame, self-hatred.
We are not empty vessels!
We are merely poured out in total surrender, daily being filled by living water so we may thirst no more.
We do not live in darkness!
We have a torch to carry, to usher light into the darkness that surrounds us. This torch is to be passed on to the very bratty kids we raise, the ones that hate each other.
All of us, in this camp together, can sound our trumpets, fill our vessels and proudly hold our torches, and we can all shout together
For God and for [insert your name here].
We can defeat this enemy that daily rises against, whispering that we aren’t enough, that we don’t have enough, that we don’t do enough. When we do this, we don’t have to be afraid, for the Lord is with us….
And God’s presence is enough.
Humans of New York published a photo of a lady in the subway, who is a Christian, planting churches in New York. I see these in my Facebook Feed, anyone can subscribe, which means anyone can comment. And people are mean, and hateful and tell you that your trumpet is useless and your vessel is ugly and your torch isn’t Scentsy so it’s not good enough. Boldly she proclaimed the Gospel, and then said, “Feel free to share it. I won’t be reading the comment section.”
So let’s do that.
Let’s not read the comment section.
Instead, let’s live in obedience, and the safety of God’s gifts to us and his calling to use them accordingly. His gift of humanity, of being real and imperfect, Let’s stand with our different versions of trumpets and should with confidence and peace, because he assures us that it won’t kill us.
Those 300 of Gideon’s men were victorious with what God gave them, because of the faith to do what he instructed them to do. We can, too. They won. We win.
FOR GOD AND FOR TIFFANY