God of the Unlikely Hero

by Jonathan Bowers, Youth Ministry Support

On a particular recent Sunday, as I was teaching the youth Sunday school group, we were talking about the story of Gideon as part of a series about how the Lord can choose the least likely individuals to carry out his plans. 

For those unfamiliar with the passage which can be found in Judges 6, Gideon was a weak boy, the son of Joash. He was threshing wheat in a winepress so the Midianites, an invading force, wouldn’t be able to find it. The angel of the Lord came to him in the middle of this task and told him that he must lead the charge to save Israel from Midian. Gideon replied, “Pardon me, my Lord, but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family” (Judges 6:14). 

This statement really struck a chord with me as I remembered my feelings when Hannah asked me to start working with our youth back in August. I had felt the exact same way. Even though I felt I was the least likely person in my family to be working in this capacity, I accepted the charge. 

Now, I can honestly say I have loved this period in my life and am so grateful for the wonderful opportunity I’ve been given to get to know so many exceptional young people. In the beginning, I was nervous, feeling that I wouldn’t be good at the job or that the students wouldn’t like me; but I have felt warmly welcomed. 

Now, I have to ask, have you had a moment like this? I expect many of us have had moments in our lives where we have felt woefully underprepared for a task that we’re expected to complete. Even if we were the best person for the job, we just couldn’t see it because of the very human feelings of self-doubt or inadequacy. 

After testing God several times, Gideon eventually did what the Lord asked of him and the people of Israel were freed from the Midianites. God truly works in the most unexpected ways, and through people that would have never expected to do these spectacular things. 

Gideon is definitely not alone. David was the youngest in his family but was able to slay the greatest fighter with only a slingshot. Noah was an aging man who had a family and enough knowledge to build a boat. Jonah literally did everything in his power to run from his calling, and the Lord had to drag him kicking and screaming before he would do what he was asked. 

 Throughout the Bible, there are stories of the least likely individuals doing amazing things. It’s a lesson that applies to all of us. We just need to keep our eyes open and notice what we can do when the time comes. 

Dear God of the unlikely hero, thank you for giving us all the chance to have a small part in your greater plans. Help us see opportunities as they arise and give us the courage to walk boldly with you. In your name, we pray, Amen.

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