When You Feel Weak
By Jana Kelley
“The Lord turned to him and said, ‘Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?’” Judges 6:14
I’m hanging by my fingertips. My hands wrap tighter around the bar and I pull hard. My face scrunches. My muscles tighten. Nothing happens. My feet dangle a couple of inches above the ground.
“I can’t do it.”
“Yes, you can,” my husband replies. “Keep going.”
I pull at what feels like an impossible task. With a little nudge on my foot, my husband helps me complete my first assisted chin-up.
This experience reminds me of the story of Gideon, told in the Old Testament book of Judges. He was self-proclaimed as the least in his family and from the weakest tribe of Israel. In fact, his nation was under so much oppression from their enemies that people often hid in caves.
One day the Lord appeared to Gideon and told him to lead the Israelites in conquering their mighty enemies. I can imagine Gideon thinking, “How can little ol’ me do that?”
The fact was, God wanted to use His own infinite power to save the people of Israel. What He needed from Gideon was a willing spirit and a trusting heart.
“Am I not sending you?” God asked. And with these words He implied He would provide all the power and strength Gideon would ever need.
Judges chapters 6 and 7 continue the story of Gideon’s growing faith. He began to do what the Lord asked of him, timidly at first. God patiently provided encouragement and help along the way, until Israel defeated their oppressors.
Remember that chin-up? I haven’t reached my goal yet; I’m still pulling at what feels like impossibility and trusting that my growing strength will one day prove successful. In the same way, we can face what feels like insurmountable obstacles, going in the strength we have, and trusting God to grow our faith.
Jana Kelley, a contributor to Wholly Loved Ministries’ devotional project, is a Texan who hardly ever lives in Texas. Raised in Southeast Asia, Jana developed a love for cross-cultural living early in life. Her love for writing came soon after. She and her husband married in college and by their second anniversary, they lived in a remote African town. After 13 years in Africa and the Middle East, they moved to Southeast Asia where they and their three boys currently live. Jana is the author of two devotional books and three novels. You can learn more about her at janakelley.com.
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Originally published Tuesday, 17 September 2019.