May 3, 2011 § 3 Comments
Seeing is believing. We know that is true about Thomas after Jesus’ resurrection. But there is also the Old Testament story of Gideon in Judges 6:36-40. God promised that Gideon will be instrumental in Israel’s salvation (6:36), but Gideon wants to make absolutely sure he is not mistaken about God’s calling for him. So he designed a little test for God that will be the sign that he understands God correctly (6:37-38). And the test is successful. But apparently not enough for Gideon. Because then he told God, “Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test…” (6:39). The second test also turned out to be successful, and that appeared to be enough for Gideon to believe that God is indeed calling him into action. Gideon knew it should not have been necessary to do one more test, because he asked God not to be angry with him about it. And yet, God seems to be very patient with Gideon in granting him his second request. We are in a relationship with God, and we can be true to ourselves and be honest with God about our struggles to always understand what God is up to. That is part of the messiness of human discernment. It is a lifelong journey to find the traces of God’s movement in our lives and in the world around us. Sometimes we catch a glimpse, and as soon as we see it, it is gone again. God will remain patient and faithful by continue to provide us with the signs of his presence, and it will remain our biggest challenge as God’s people to continue to seek out those glimpses.