Thursday, February 7, 2008

Asking Why

And the angel of the LORD
appeared to him and said

to him, The LORD is with you...
And Gideon said to him,
"Please, sir, if the LORD

is with us, why then has
all this happened to us?

And where are all
his wonderful deeds
that our fathers recounted to us...?"
Judges 6:12-13a

Oh God, why is this happening were my first words after hanging up the phone. Having moved five times in four years, this move, to work with a Christian organization, was supposed to be the move that would begin the financial stability we desperately needed. Now, four months later, sitting in a near empty house, we were learning a difficult lesson–our chosen state of residence had laws that allowed employers to fire employees without warning or reason. It didn’t feel like the LORD was very near!

Gideon was living the upheaval of having to move, frequently. Israel had been under an oppressive regime that swarmed over them devouring their crops, destroying their pastures, literally consuming their lives. As a result, Gideon found himself living in a cave. No wonder, when assured of the LORD’s presence, he asks why then has all this happened.

Sometimes the circumstances of our lives make us feel like we, too, are cave dwellers. Retreat seems our only resource, afraid that if we poke out our head we will feel the smack of another blow. And we ask, why then has all this happened? In the case of Israel, as recorded in Judges, they created their own problems because of their disobedience. Gideon, however, had remained faithful to the LORD and yet he was not immune from the difficulties.

The LORD never does answer Gideon’s why question. Instead the LORD responds by giving Gideon a task that seems beyond his ability. And when Gideon further objects, the response he hears isn’t an answer but a promise...I will be with you.

Jesus, there are times when all I want to do is hide.
Thank you for knowing that about me!
Help me to receive the circumstances of my life
within the security of your promise,
"I will be with you."

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