By Cheryl Luke, CR National Director for Cultural Communities
Do you remember playing team games as a child? Two leaders are chosen, and one by one, each leader picks team members. As the crowd decreases, those waiting to hear their name silently scream, “Pick me; I don’t want to be the last one standing!”
Picture the last individual waiting to be selected, their hands hanging at their sides. Looking down. Avoiding eye contact with the “chosen.” Realizing they’re the one that no one would select unless they had no other choice.
As a child, this can be devastating. As an adult, the sense of devastation is no less appalling.
In Judges 6:15, Gideon sees himself as insignificant and irrelevant among his people and family. He carries the weight of being the least of the least. Not only does Gideon feel inconsequential, but he also senses that his people have been completely abandoned by God. However, his perception couldn’t be further from the truth.
There’s more to Gideon than meets the eye! If you look at his situation from a place of sheer survival, one might think this guy is not doing much. He threshed wheat in a winepress, of all places! But once you pull back and see the greater impact of his winepress adventure, a slightly different scenario may emerge. He is caring for his family, keeping them alive while providing food in a discreet and calculated manner. He has been strategically positioned for his next life adventure. Yet he doesn’t even know it.
Gideon was utterly unaware of his strategic position. He failed to recognize that he was creative and a strategist, a survivor providing for his family. Keeping his loved ones secure was his focus. I’m sure that remembering how he lost two brothers to the Midianites was in the back of his mind as he worked the winepress. He was determined to keep his family nourished. He was resolute on keeping them alive.
Just as God strategically positioned Gideon, he positions each of us for the unique plan he has for us. Sometimes in life, you may feel overlooked, passed by, or forgotten. You may not have received the promotion or position you hoped for. You may feel you have nothing to offer others. You may feel you are threshing grain in a winepress because you are afraid. In truth, God sees you in the winepress and knows your future. Stand firm, mighty man or woman, because God is with you.
As you begin the New Year, what are you hiding or withholding that will keep you in the winepress?