Originally published Saturday, 28 March 2020.
I was talking on the phone to our accountant just as things with COVID-19 were starting to get serious. We were both sharing some of our concerns about how school and business closures will affect families and businesses. I shared the comfort that has been on my mind lately—the story of Gideon defeating the Midianites.
If you’re not familiar with this Bible story, God makes a plan to use Gideon to lead the Israelites to defeat their enemy, the Midianites, who were oppressing them. Gideon gathers 32,000 men to fight the Midianites but the day of their attack, God stops Gideon saying, “The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel claim glory for itself against me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.” Judges 7:2 God uses two tests to send some of the men away—first, anyone who was afraid was dismissed and 22,000 left. Second, the people were brought to the water to drink and only those who lapped the water were kept to fight. Only 300 men remained, God then uses them to route the Midianites.
The lesson that stands out in this story—God purposely stacked the odds against himself. In this strange time of social distancing, with schools being closed, with some still having jobs and some missing paychecks, life “AC” (After Covid), can seem full of massive obstacles, especially financial ones. What I take from the story of Gideon is that God doesn’t need the obstacles to be manageable or the circumstances favorable to do his work. Sometimes his work is most apparent when the need is most dire—when the resources are most scarce.
In this time of a unique quieting, where the hustle of the world is slowed, some of the noise of life stripped away, I believe it will be easier to see the work of God in our lives. I’ve read articles reporting that with low traffic and fewer people out and about, that the canal waters of Venice, Italy are actually clear. You can see to the bottom. The sky above China is easier to breathe from. Each of us is in different circumstances, but as some parts of your life still, be looking for where God is working. There are no guaranteed outcomes, they may be unexpected, but we are guaranteed God’s presence. Social distancing has no effect on Him. He is as close as he ever was, for nothing can separate us from his love.
Romans 8:38-39 NKJV
“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Sarah Clews loves being the wife of Carson and mother to three little girls. She received her degree in English from Corban University and still loves the craft of writing. She also helps her husband run a martial arts school. In her free time, Sarah enjoys talking with grown-ups (!), finding new authors, doing online research, and reading her favorite childhood stories to her girls.