Go In The Strength That You Have
There is this story in the book of Judges in the Old Testament about Jewish hero named Gideon, who defeated thousands of soldiers from a rival tribe with only three hundred Hebrew warriors.
But before Gideon was a great hero, he was just a guy--a guy keeping his head down, trying to make ends meet and desperately afraid of having his grain and goods raided by members of the aforementioned rival tribe.
In the story, an angel from the Lord appeared to Gideon and exclaimed, "The Lord is with you, mighty warrior." To which Gideon replies, "Beg your pardon, but it sure doesn't look or feel like the Lord is with us. I mean look around you, we're all afraid, we're uncertain, things are bad. How could the Lord be with us when things are so bad?"
I love this. The guy has an angel appear to him and tell him that he's favored by God and he argues with the angel. But how different is that from the way that so many of us act?
Have you ever had one of those moments when you were complaining about your circumstances to a friend, and your friend said something like, "Well, just put it in God's hands. God has a plan for you that's perfect." Or something to that effect.
And in that moment you want to scream and start shaking your friend because you don't feel like God has a plan, and you might even feel like God has left you to be raided by the rival tribes, so to speak.
When Gideon argued with the angel, the angel replied (with the voice of God), "Go in the strength that you have..." and then a bit later he tells Gideon that he doesn't have to be afraid because "I will be with you..."
Here's the thing... You don't have enough strength to pull off grace and peace in every moment of life. You just don't. Some days are just hard. There are seasons in your life when things are rotten and there's not much that you can do about it. It might even feel like God has kind of left you to your own devices in those moments.
But just as God exhorted Gideon, you also are called to "Go in the strength that you have..." Whatever strength you have left is all God requires--even if it barely registers on the strength-o-meter. Because even when you have very little of your own, God's strength is more than enough to carry you through the tough times and the challenging seasons.
Jesus told his disciples that all they needed was one little tiny seed of faith, and God could work with that to do amazing things.
May you go in the strength that you have today, no matter how little you can muster. May you have the faith it takes to rely fully on God to take your strength and maximize it with God's own. May you discover new joy and new confidence as you draw closer to the One who's strength is limitless and lovingly given.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.