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Have you ever felt alone?  There is a peaceful type of feeling alone.  It is sort of like sitting on the bank of a mountain side stream just listening to it gently gurgle on by with the birds singing in the trees around you and you are quietly being refreshed.  That is not what I am talking about.  The type I am talking about is where you are sitting in the ocean with no land in sight.  You are in an old wooden row boat with no oars and a 40 foot high wave is about to sweep over you.  There is an utter hopelessness and despair.

Does that sound familiar? 

I was recently struck by the story of Gideon, one of the judges of Israel.  When we find Gideon in Judges 6, he was threshing grain in the bottom of a wine press.  This was not the typical way to thresh grain. It was more common to thresh it from the top of hill so the wind could blow away the chaff.  However, Gideon did not want to be spotted by the Midianites who had been persecuting Israel for seven years.  The Midianites had been so cruel that the Israelites had taken to hiding in the mountains, caves and other strongholds.

While Gideon was threshing the grain, an angel of the Lord sat down beside a tree where he was working and said, “Mighty hero, the Lord is with you!”  Let me be clear, at this point Gideon was not a might hero.  In his own words, he was the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh and the least of his entire family. Gideon replied to the angel, “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.” The angel of the Lord then told Gideon that he was to rescue Israel from the Midianites. God went on to use Gideon to free Israel from the persecution of the Midianites.

Does any of this resonate with you like it did me?  Have you ever wondered why all this is happening to your child?  Or maybe you have seen God bring healing to the children of other families and wonder why He hasn’t done a miracle for your family.  You hear other believers talk about a closeness with God, meanwhile you feel abandoned and betrayed by Him. Then you struggle with guilt related to that.  I want you to be encouraged.  Just as God saw Israel during these seven years of suffering, God knows your pain, hears you and has not abandoned you.

Maybe you feel ill equipped for this journey and are just trying to get from one moment to the next.  I want to leave you with the words the angel of the Lord gave Gideon, “Mighty hero, the Lord is with you!” You are indeed a hero to your child and to your family.  God is with you, even when it doesn’t feel like it, even when that ocean wave is crashing over you and there’s no help in sight, and He is using you in ways greater than you will ever know.

Do you want to learn more about Gideon and how God used him to free Israel from the persecution of the Midianites?  You can check it out for yourself in Judges 6. We would love to know what you think!