Boasting in Weakness
“The Lord said to Gideon, ‘the people with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel boast over me, saying ‘My own hand has saved me.’” (Judges 7:2)
During this very busy season of my life, feeling often overwhelmed at all of the tasks that lay before me in a given day, I am left wondering how I will make it through the day victoriously. If we are really aware of Spiritual forces at work, we know that this life is like a battlefield. Just making it to family dinner time without snapping at one of my children is like slaying an army of 10,000 these days. In this passage, Gideon’s army of about 32,000 men is just too many for God to give them the victory over the Midianites. So the Lord, in His beautiful planning and wisdom, whittles down the army to 10,000 fearless men, after sending home all those who were fearful and trembling. Even 10,000 seems too mighty a number, so He has Gideon get the number down to 300 men. With just 300 men, the Lord gives the Midianites into the hands of the Israelites and gets all of the glory for winning what seemed like an impossible battle.
In our lives, getting down to 300 men may not be as intentional. We might hover at a figurative 10,000 fearless men for our own comfort’s sake. This is why God, in His wisdom, sometimes brings us down to 300 figurative men by whatever means He deems necessary. In whatever we do, in whatever capacity, if we feel depleted and unable to win a day’s battle, God is bringing us down to our version of 300 men so that when the battle is won, we are sure it is God who has won the victory for us. This ensures that our boasting will be in Christ, not in ourselves.
When you feel weak or compromised, lean into God. The battle belongs to Him and He will supply the strength of an army of over 32,000 men. When you are weary and weak, look to Jesus, His power is made perfect in your weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). In our lives, getting down to 300 men looks like an unexpected illness of a little one when you had a whole day of “absolutely critical” tasks to complete. Leaning into Christ looks like laying those tasks down to comfort your baby while trusting God will provide where you lack. It may look like an inbox full of emails and meetings all day, then your supervisor stops in to give you your next big project. It may be that your marriage is failing, again. Your children are wayward, your immune system and health are compromised. The Lord knows your specific struggle. Trust Him in that He does not want you to grow proud or arrogant or rise up against Him because you think you are winning your victories all by yourself. He wants you to know that if you are victorious, even when you are weak, the victory is from Him. Bless the Lord!
(Peter, Raquel, Analia, Elias, and Julian)