Most people who know me know that I have a rather insane love of VeggieTales. We have at one point seen and owned every movie – sometimes multiple copies of our favorite episodes – and generally have the new ones within days of release. One of my top three Veggie tales (haha!!!) is the retelling of Gideon.
The story of Gideon is found in the Book of Judges chapter 6. A professor of mine once called Gideon “Super Chicken” and he’s right. In the Bible, he’s threshing wheat in the wine press in order to hide and save it from the Midianite army. In the Veggie Tales version, a cucumber is being picked on by his “stronger and bigger” pea (yes, that’s right) brothers.
Imagine the surprise of both versions of Gideon when approached by an angel and hailed a mighty warrior! Wait…who? You can’t be talking to me…can you?
Gideon wasn’t very brave. When it comes to people, I’m not very brave either. I like for people to think I trust them more than I do because then they think they’re “in deep”. There have been many people in my life who thought we were the best of best friends because I allowed them to think that. Sure, I cared about them. But, I don’t do vulnerable. With anyone. Including God.
Which makes my life scripture so puzzling. Psalm 37:4 – Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. For the longest time, I thought I really understood this. I always made my personal interpretation “align yourself”. To a large degree, I wasn’t wrong. God is not my personal ATM or vending machine set to dispense my wishes upon request. He acts according to His will and sovereignty. My will and my desires and my life must be aligned with Him in order for that transaction and promise to work. So, kudos to me, by the grace of God, I understood a piece of Scripture.
But I missed a very key part…more on that later. Back to Gideon!
God wants Gideon to lead an army. Huh? He’s hiding. In a wine press. Threshing wheat. O…k. Typically, this was done on in the open air on a windy day. Not at the bottom of a pit. Evidently, he’s a little frightened. And with good reason. It’s not like these were nice people he was hiding from. And Gideon is supposed to lead an army. Against them. The runt guy from the runt family from the runt clan in the runt nation. Uh huh.
Both versions Gideon ask the angel/Pa Grape for a sign to know if God is really in this. That word pops up in the story of Gideon a lot – ‘if’. Verse 13 basically says, “If the Lord is with us, then why is all this bad stuff happening?” We ask that of God quite often, too, don’t we? So Gideon goes back and forth between trust and doubt seesawing until finally he obeys God and with horns, flashlights and a catchy marching band (oh, I’m sorry, that’s Veggie Tales again) watches as God goes before them and the Midianite army is defeated.
I say all that to say this: what was missing from much of Gideon’s story is trust. That much is obvious. The same can be said for our lives. We can have faith, but not trust. So often we consider the two synonymous. Gideon’s lack of trust in God was obvious by his lack of peace. He believed or had faith in God. But he didn’t trust that God was on his side.
What does that mean for my life scripture?
I take great delight in my husband. I do this because his faithfulness has been proven and I trust him without question. So, while we are aligned (most of the time) and our desires for each other and our relationship are met without question because we are (scarily) in sync, we also delight in each other because we love each other. We are at peace with each other. If my sweetie says he’s going to do something, I sleep well (usually) knowing it will be done…more often than not in a reasonable amount of time.
And he’s fallible.
How much more should we trust and delight and align ourselves with God? If God is calling you mighty man/woman of valor and trying to send you off somewhere that looks a little scary, trust that He knows where you’ll end up. If, like me, God is only asking that you give Him your dreams and let Him take hold of them, trust that it’s not because He’s going to stomp on them. When we are aligned with God, He breathes His desires into our hearts. When we trust Him, it is our delight to give those dreams back and His delight to see them come to fruition.
So, all my Super Chicken friends, while you’re practicing your mustard seed faith, don’t forget to trust. Also, don’t forget that singing and talking vegetables often carry a heck of a lot of wisdom.
Larry/Gideon: When has a battle ever been won by marching in formation?
Pa Grape/angel: You’d be surprised.
(psst…that’s my hint…don’t forget to worship, either)