From Fear Filled to Feared – 3 Ways Gideon Can Help Our Kids See the Warrior in Themselves
So many times we want to see ourselves as the hero.
I remember growing up my dad and I would watch wrestling, a lot. I loved it. Not only did I love it, I wanted to be like them, especially like one of my favorites.
You know the one who came out with arm bands, long hair, and face paint. The one who would shake the ropes like he was breaking chains.
He was ultimate. He was a warrior.
The Bible is filled with the stories of many “heroes.” Some we want to be like more than others. But how do we as parents approach these stories with our kids so that they get a better understanding of not only who the character is, but Who God is?
Lately I’ve been thinking about the story of Gideon. His is a pretty famous story filled with heroism, right?
Let’s take a closer look and try to understand better what Gideon saw, and what God saw.
Gideon saw a might army. God saw a mighty warrior.
When we first meet Gideon, he is grinding grain in a winepress so that the Midianites wouldn’t find him. When the messenger from God comes to him, he is disgruntled about all that has happened to them as a people and wondered where the God of the stories he had grown up hearing about was. All he could see was his problem, and it had no solution.
What does the messenger tell him?
“The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” (Judges 6:12, NIV)
What? Mighty warrior?
Gideon wasn’t leading an army. He was hiding.
He didn’t have arm bands. He had a winepress.
He didn’t have face paint. He had doubt.
The whole time Gideon was looking at the Midianites, God was looking at him. And what God saw overpowered what Gideon saw.
Gideon saw his own fear. God saw His own faithfulness.
Once Gideon understood that God was truly calling him to do the impossible, his fear kicked in. He needed reassurance that he wasn’t crazy.
So what did he do? He asked for it. Multiple times.
You would think that God would get to the point and, like any humanly rational parent, say, “Enough already. If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times.”
But He doesn’t. Instead God answers Gideon’s doubts. Each and every one of them.
Too often all we see is our fears. They are numerous and overwhelming. But so are God’s graces.
We need to dare to ask God to help us overcome our fears and see what He answers with.
Gideon saw a battle plan. God saw His plan.
When Gideon finally grasps the truth that God is calling him to free his people, Gideon does the next logical thing: He forms an army.
He gathered together a force of 32,000 of what he thought was Israel’s bravest men. Now he was set to battle the Midianites, right?
God had a plan.
All He did was ask those who were afraid to leave, and 22,000 of them left immediately.
Two thirds of Gideon’s army gone.
Okay. Plan B, right?
God had a plan.
He used a simple test to show who He truly wanted, and Gideon was left with only 300. Now that may make a great title for a green screened and scripted Hollywood movie, but it is hardly a force strong enough to defeat an entire army, right?
The whole time Gideon was working on his plans, God was working on one of His own.
When Gideon trusted God’s plan, victory came.
Heroes are important, especially for our children. But we as parents need to make sure that we give them a way to see what a true hero looks like.
That he or she is one who hears God speak.
That he or she is one who obeys when God calls.
And that he or she is one who trusts God in His plans, even when they are not understood.
If we can help them do that, our kids may just be a Gideon in their generation.
As you talk with your kids about this story, ask them who their heroes are and why. You may just find a way in to their world where you can show them more about God’s world.
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Brad in 2 Sentences:
I love to write and teach people of all ages about Jesus. If I can tell a story and tell you about Jesus at the same time, even better!