Nestled in the small book of Judges are a few chapters which tell the story of Gideon. You might be familiar with the part where Gideon sets out the fleece before God. We see how Gideon is a little bit unsure of if and how they will defeat the Midianites… so He goes to God, fleece in hand– hoping for clarification. God confirms. Gideon asks again and waits. God confirms a second time.
But I want to draw your attention to the part just after. God has confirmed HIS plan for Gideon, and then He begins to work. But instead of fitting the men for battle with visible supernatural armor and giving them the tools to build a giant structure which would cause the Midianites to cower…. instead He tells Gideon His army is too big. So God removes 22,000 men. Leaving only a third. Surely Gideon felt daunted, yet perhaps he trusted still (even a little? ) in what was left of their numbers.
Then comes God a second time to Gideon, “The people with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel boast over me, saying ‘My own hand has saved me.” (Judges 7:2) I can just imagine Gideon’s palms sweaty and his face clammy with fear as he watches as all but 300 men are removed and sent home. 300 men. That is a very small number to face such an army. “With the 300 men who lapped, I will save you and give the Midianites into your hand..” (Judges 7:7) Notice God says, “I will save you.” Not that there would be any confusion at this point. They were outnumbered. Completely.
And what happened? God delivered them. He provided. He protected and HE FOUGHT THE BATTLE! Gideon may have been leading them into the valley, but it was GOD’S Battle to fight and to win. And the amazing thing that God knew was that there needed to be a huge disparity between their resources and what they needed to be successful– so that when victory came, as it did– they would turn to God alone with their praise.
In her video series on Gideon, Priscilla Shirer said that this is exactly where God wants us to be. The space between our (God -given!) resources and what needs to be accomplished in His name. She refers to this space as “God Margin.” The space where He can work. She goes on to say that that He loves weakness as His strength is made perfect. I love that. Made perfect– as in lacking nothing.
Because let me just say, I am not lacking nothing. More accurately.. I feel as though I lack just about everything.
Energy. (especially given the events of the past week!)
Do you find yourself focused on what you do not come to the table with? You desire to have a homemade, fair-trade, every-gift-bought-feeds-a-village Christmas but your time and financial resources end after about one local artisan gift? Don’t ask “why bother?” Buy that one gift. Give that one gift. And trust God to make your small offering big for the least of these you ache to help.
Perhaps you KNOW for certain God is calling you to adopt. Your heart feels incomplete and you have space for “at least one more.” But the details are staggering and make you want to crawl back in bed. Don’t allow what you do not possess in your own strength to craft a mountain of “why you cannot.” Walk ahead. One step at a time, and when you must stop because your energy & resources run out– just wait. Wait for Him to act. If He has called you, He will provide.
Maybe it’s just… Christmas. (12 days from today.) Maybe 2 months ago you had great designs of how to avoid the rush and hustle and bustle and missing the manger altogether– but now… you might not get it “all” done if you don’t continue at breakneck pace until the 25th. You worry that you’ve missed your chance to make it meaningful and a true season of celebration of HIS birth. Start today, do something small for someone else. And pray that HE will increase your efforts and still your heart.
For some, it’s just continuing on the path that He has set you on. You know He has called you to what and where you are about– but how? How can you get there from here? GOD MARGIN.
Let Him fill the space that we are not, with ALL that He is.
And as we walk forward (behind Him, certainly– as He goes before us) we must walk in courage. In hope. And in the joy of the victory that is already ours. Because it is already HIS.
He is more than ENOUGH when we are not quite.