God Shows up in our Difficulties…
Then Gideon perceived that he was the angel of the LORD. And Gideon said, “Alas, O Lord God! For now I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face.” (Judges 6:22, ESV)
The Israelites were going through it! They were facing difficulties beyond their ability to overcome. Anytime their enemy, the Midianites wanted to, they would come in, destroy their land, eat their crops and cattle, do whatever they wanted to the people of God. The Israelites described the Midianites as “locusts” that swarmed the land, destroying everything in their path. They were feeling pretty helpless, but at just the right time God made his presence known by sending an angel to speak with Gideon and tell him of God’s plans to overthrow their great enemy.
People, names, enemies, and places may have changed, but hard times are still hard times, difficulties are still hard to get through, feeling helpless, hopeless, defeated against strong and oppressive enemies has not changed, feelings of being backed into a corner and powerless still come upon us. But something else—or should we say Someone has not changed either and that’s our God. He may seem silent, unobservant, detached, unmoved, unresponsive, even powerless, but we can know with certainty he is none of those things.
True, God’s timing can seem a bit off to us at times. We might wonder why he doesn’t step in sooner and just bring an end to some madness and trouble taking place, why he doesn’t defend us more quickly or turn the nasty situation around—after all he can do whatever he wants to do and no one can stop him when he does—at those times it’s really difficult to understand God’s strategies or slowness to respond, but God always has a strategy and a plan and as silent or removed as it may seem he is, if we open our eyes we can see his activity and angels everywhere; we can see his mighty hand and power at work.
God will never be defeated or outdone and he will never accept his children being trampled or stepped on. As difficult as it may be we can trust his timing and let our heart be encouraged to know he will show up. Let’s Pray,
Lord, may we determine to be patient in our difficulties. Determined, knowing you are going to do things the way you need to do them. We know in our heart of faith that you are watching, and you always plan to deliver your own. May we trust you more and expect you to make an appearance in the time of difficulty. Amen
For Examination and Reflection:
Have you ever felt God is moving too slow, or is uncaring about a difficulty you were facing or experiencing? How did God show up in your situation, or, are you still waiting? Talk to him about what you’re feeling or thinking.
How will you incorporate today’s message into your plan of self and soul-care?