The story of Gideon begins a lot like the other stories from Judges with, “The Israelites did what was evil in the sight of the LORD.” This always leads to the Israelites crying out to God and God sending someone to deliver them. But rarely, is that individual already hiding. This is where the story of Gideon begins, the hope of Israel hidden in a winepress to protect what he is working on from the Midianites.
When the angel of the LORD comes to Gideon, the angel refers to Gideon as “Mighty Warrior.” It’s easy for us to read the rest of the story but pause for a minute and consider, was this the first time that Gideon was every identified this way? I think it was. Look at his response, Gideon certainly doesn’t see himself the way that God sees him. Often we look at our reflection in the mirror and think, “I’m not good enough, strong enough, etc.” But the reflection that we often see is not the one that God sees. Remember, even when Gideon can’t see it, God recognizes him as a mighty warrior.
My favorite part of this story is that Gideon tests God. I grew up believing that unless you had it all figured out you weren’t ready to serve God. But look at how God responds to Gideon’s doubts and questioning, God shows up and provides answers. God does not disqualify Gideon but recognizes that Gideon is struggling and needs to be reminded that God will be there when Gideon doubts and struggles.
Instead of worrying about what the world thinks about us or being too critical on ourselves, it might do us a lot of good to attempt to see ourselves the way that God sees us: as enough. Like Gideon, God views us a mighty warriors even when we can’t see it. God has equipped us, prepared us, and placed individuals in our lives to encourage us so that we too can say…why not me?