Obstacles or Opportunity
When God called Gideon to fight against the Midianites and Amalekites, he was hesitant because he only saw the obstacles of his smallness and the greatness of their enemies. Gideon didn’t see the opportunity of God’s miraculous intervention. Yet, God was patient with Gideon and answered his prayers of testing. Gideon must have had some excitement when 32,000 men agreed to join him in the battle. However, God said there were too many and instructed Gideon to release everyone who was fearful or afraid. Twenty-two thousand 22,000 men went home.
Yet, in God’s plan, there were still too many soldiers. As a result, Gideon was left with only 300 men. He went against armies that were described as “locusts in abundance, and their camels were without number, as the sand that is on the seashore in abundance.” (Judges 7:12) Why did God have so few men go up against such a vast army? It was so that the Israelites would recognise that the battle was won because of the Lord, and not because of their strength in numbers.
Just like Gideon, we are faced with battles from within ourselves (self-doubt) and pressures from outside. Often we feel tremendously outnumbered and weak. Yet, if we would refocus our attentions to see our trials as an opportunity for God to bring His hand of deliverance, our anxieties will rest. If our focus is on the obstacles, we will lose heart and give up before the battle even begins. Our perceived obstacles are God’s opportunity to show up and demonstrate His glory.
Every mountain that stands in our way of God’s plan is an opportunity to stretch our faith. It’s an opportunity for us to trust in God with all of our hearts. It’s an opportunity for God to demonstrate His love and power for those who follow after Him. It’s time to change our focus from the obstacle to the opportunity of God’s grace.