This morning as I was reading my Bible, I was reminded of a sermon my preacher taught in Alaska a few years back.
I am currently (very slowly) making my way through Judges. I've read the entire Bible, but I've never spent time in the entire Bible if that makes sense. I tend to focus on New Testament books and skim over the Old Testament. But there are so many lessons to be learned in the OT and I'm trying to give God the opportunity to show me those lessons.
Today I'm in chapter 6 and the story of Gideon. I've always liked this story. Gideon had no desire to be called to save his people. The Angel of the Lord found him threshing wheat in a wine press. This never impressed me until I heard a lesson on this story last year (by Priscilla Shirer- the lady is ah-maz-ing) and she detailed how hard this would have been. Gideon was SCARED. He did not want to be caught with wheat by the Midianites and he was hiding from them. The Angel of the Lord told him that he was called to save his people and he tested the angel to make sure it really was of the Lord. The Lord gave him a specific command and he executed it... in the dark so as not to be caught by his family. The dude was not a warrior as you and I picture a warrior. (that is a horrible summary of the beginning of Gideon's story. If you don't know the story, you should go read it.)
But God didn't care.
God saw the potential in Gideon. God knew what he was capable of WITH GOD'S HELP and He sent him to save the Children of Israel. We've all heard over and over again that God can use anyone but it's so nice to see that played out so many times in the Bible. Little reminders that He really can use anyone. Even me. Even you.
God sees the potential in each and every one of us and that is so comforting. Then I heard a little voice. I don't claim this was the voice of God, I'm just saying a voice popped into my head telling me to surround myself with people that also see that potential. And that reminded me of the sermon I heard in Alaska (getting back around to my point finally). We all need friends in our life that see us for the person we can become. That see us succeeding and living all out for Him even when we're in a not-so-good place.
This has been so true in my life. I've been in some pretty crappy places. They don't MEDEVAC you out of Baghdad for telling them that you're a little sad. I laid on the hard marble floor in one of Saddam Hussein's (old) palaces for hours crying that I couldn't do it anymore. I couldn't go on. When asked what I couldn't do any more I said "life. I can't do life any more". I left the country two days later.
But I have friends that never saw me as that depressed sniveling person crying on the floor. Friends that saw me as a victor in Christ even when I was a disaster on the outside. And those friends mean everything to me. There were days that those people were the only reason I could come up with to get out of bed. They are the people that have helped me to choose joy even in the crappy moments. Helped me to remember that there is a reason that I'm here and that there is POTENTIAL in me.
And there's potential in you as well. So if you don't have those friends, find them. Because God has more for you than hiding in a winepress threshing wheat.
*Sidenote: maybe it's a good thing I can't get any photos to upload. It's forcing me to write about something other than my cute kids. To be true to my goal of this being more than a "mommy" blog.
*Sidenote #2: if you read this just for the cute pictures of my kids, I apologize.
*Sidenote #3: if you read this and I have no idea that you read this, feel free to leave a comment. Sometimes I feel like I'm talking to myself.