And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor! . . . Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?” Judges 6:12,14
Threshing wheat, separating the good grain from the worthless chaff, was typically done outdoors. However, on the day the Angel of the Lord came to Gideon, he was doing this dusty, nasty task inside the cramped confines of his father’s winepress. Why? He was in hiding! He was trying to preserve at least some of his grain from the Midianite invaders.
If you and I had evaluated Gideon that day, we would have called him a coward from a family of cowards in a nation of cowards. That’s what he looked like . . . from the outside.
But God knew better. In fact, Gideon was God’s answer to the Midianite problem! God knew that inside Gideon was the potential to be a “Mighty Man of Valor.” It was just hidden.
At the risk of being too simplistic, how do you get something deep inside to come out? Well, you squeeze! (I bet you’ve done it with toothpaste today!) So, how did the timid little Gideon of Judges 6 become the brilliant strategist of Judges 7 and the seasoned leader of Judges 8? God squeezed him. Hard. God put him into impossible situations with overwhelming obstacles.
He will do the same thing to you. Remember, we, as believers, are never the objects of God’s condemnation. Christ on the cross paid the penalty for our sins.
However, we will quite often be the object of God’s squeezing. And as we endure the difficulties He allows or sends into our lives, we will see ourselves emerge, with both our strengths and our weaknesses clearly demonstrated. It’s then our responsibility to praise Him for our newly discovered strength, and trust Him with our newly discovered weakness.
Are you being squeezed today? May you quickly discover what the Lord is forcing out of you!
Here’s a prayer for you to consider:
Lord, I don’t have to like it, do I? Being squeezed is not any fun. But I know that You made me, and You keep me for things beyond what I know I can handle. And so, I know that You are going to have to show me things about myself that I have never seen. Thank You that You love me enough to want to see me grow. Thank You for caring about me, and seeing greatness even if, today, I have not been all that brave.
Thank You for Your squeezing!
McGregor Baptist Church
3750 Colonial Blvd.
Fort Myers, FL 33966