One of the misconceptions many of us believe is that when God is with us and for us, we won’t experience bad things. It can be quite a shock when we go through a very long season of difficulties. We question our faith, we question what’s going on and we question God. Almost every time, there are no answers. I remember crying out, “God, where are you? If you’re with me, why is this happening?” I didn’t get any answers, but I did find out that God’s Grace is deeper than any trouble I went through. It was sufficient to carry me through the darkest times.
In Judges 6, Israel was constantly being attacked by the Midianites for seven years. When Israel’s crops would start to grow, the Midianites would come destroy them. They stole their livestock as well so that Israel was without food and became impoverished. Israelites lived in constant fear because of it. That’s when the Angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon and called him a mighty warrior saying God was with him. In verse 13 he replied, “‘Sir, if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about? Didn’t they say, ‘The Lord brought us up out of Egypt’? But now the Lord has abandoned us and handed us over to the Midianites’” (NLT). He didn’t get answer, but he did get a mission to deliver Israel.
Even when we face the longest, darkest struggles, we have God’s promise to never leave us. Deuteronomy 31:6 says, “Be determined and confident. Do not be afraid of them. Your God, the Lord himself, will be with you. He will not fail you or abandon you” (GNT). It’s hard to be confident in those times. Gideon wasn’t, but God called out the confident warrior in him. There’s a confident warrior in you too. You are able to face any struggle, fight every battle and survive any difficult season because God is with you. His strength is made perfect in our weakness. Don’t back down or lose hope now. Be determined and confident in Him. He will not fail you or go back on His promises.
I spend a lot of time learning about leadership because that’s one of the areas I focus on training and helping people grow in. A book I’m reading right now isn’t about leadership, but it had a quote from a minister named John Wimber. He said, “Never trust a leader without a limp.” He wasn’t referring to a physical one. There’s a place of brokenness that we must reach in wrestling with God that shows us our limitations, exposes our weakness and causes us to be humble. The opposite type leader is arrogant, sure of themselves and doesn’t rely on God to accomplish things. While they’re confident and charging forward, they may not lead you where you need to go.
Jacob was the grandson of Abraham. He had a serious sibling rivalry with his twin brother Esau, who was the first born of the two. The first born received a double portion of their father’s inheritance because they were to lead the family and care for its affairs. When Jacob stole the first born’s blessing, he ran away in fear of his life for twenty years. The night before seeing his brother for the first time since he left, he was sleeping when a heavenly being came. They wrestled until dawn and Jacob refused to let go until he had been blessed. The being touched his hip and put it out of socket. Genesis 32:31 says, “The sun was rising as Jacob left Peniel, and he was limping because of the injury to his hip” (NLT).
I want you to know it’s ok to wrestle with God over things in your life. Be like Jacob and don’t let go until you’re changed. Those wrestling matches often reveal our weaknesses and teach us to depend on God more. They can leave us humbled and broken, but not fragmented and lame. It’s a good thing to have your walk changed by God. Never be ashamed of your limp created by your brokenness through an encounter with God. People can be I pressed with your confidence and strength, but it’s through your brokenness and limp that they will connect with you. Remember that it’s in our weakness and brokenness that His strength is made perfect (2 Corinthians 12:9).