In the Christian faith, there is a story of this young man, named Gideon. Gideon lived during a time before a king was established in Israel. Yahweh [somehow] told Gideon that Gideon would be used to help rescue Israel from Midian. Here’s Gideon’s response:
36 Then Gideon said to God, “If you are truly going to use me to rescue Israel as you promised, 37 prove it to me in this way. I will put a wool fleece on the threshing floor tonight. If the fleece is wet with dew in the morning but the ground is dry, then I will know that you are going to help me rescue Israel as you promised.” 38 And that is just what happened. When Gideon got up early the next morning, he squeezed the fleece and wrung out a whole bowlful of water.
39 Then Gideon said to God, “Please don’t be angry with me, but let me make one more request. Let me use the fleece for one more test. This time let the fleece remain dry while the ground around it is wet with dew.” 40 So that night God did as Gideon asked. The fleece was dry in the morning, but the ground was covered with dew.
I feel Gideon. I mean he’s supposedly been called to a pretty big deal. He wants to know if the voice in his head is Yahweh, Baal, himself or . . . just a voice in his head. I’m with you Gideon.
I remember my father warning me to be careful about stamping “God” on things I did.We’ve heard people say, “I feel God calling me to buy this house.” or “God told me to talk to that person.” or “God told me to buy that $60,000.00 to use for his ministry.” Now, I’m sure if there’s an omnipotent God, He/She can do whatever He/She wants to – including speak to people and tell them to do/buy/say ish in ‘the name of Yahweh.’ It seems (based off of stories in the Christian tradition) that this Yahweh always ‘calls’ people to do crazy stuff. Stuff that the people don’t really WANT to do. Or things that seems a bit odd.
Being willing to kill family members (Genesis 22)
Building a giant boat (Genesis 7)
Leaving jobs, family, security to follow a Teacher (Matthew 4)
Leading an army of only 300 men to capture Midianites of much greater number (Judges 7)
In my limited insight, I notice a pattern. Yahweh ‘speaks.’ Human hesitates. Human asks ‘for a sign.’ Yahweh gives sign. Human tries to get out of it. Yahweh says, “No seriously!” Human listens & does.
Today. We’re laying out a fleece. Sean & I are ready to embark on the next adventure. We’re nervous, eager, excited, anxious, scared, and aware it’s completely beyond our means. We don’t have friends. We don’t have much money. We don’t have much certainty. We don’t have jobs. Or guaranteed safety. You know, the basics.
We DO have Hope. A vision. Promises we made years ago about the kind of lives we’d live. Feelings about the kind of paths we’d walk. This path could be it. Or we could bomb miserably. Painfully.
Or Maybe . . . Yahweh will make the ground dry & the fleece wet. Actually, I’d just settle for provision – of everything – without us telling anyone the specific desires. Huh. . . Yahweh, please feel free to be creatively engaged in our lives. Readers, also do the same. 🙂