A mother asked her 5-year-old son to go to the pantry to get her a can of tomato soup. But he refused and protested, “It’s dark in there.” Mom assured Johnny, “It’s okay. Don’t be afraid. Jesus is in there.” So Johnny opened the door slowly and seeing that it was dark, shouted, “Jesus, can you hand me a can of tomato soup?”
This humorous story of Johnny’s fear reminds me of Gideon. The Lord appeared to Gideon, calling him a “mighty man of valor” (Judg. 6:12) and then telling him to deliver Israel out of Midian’s hand (v.14). But Gideon’s fearful reply was, “My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house” (v.15). Even after the Lord told Gideon that with His help he would defeat the Midianites (v.16), he was still afraid. Then Gideon asked the Lord for signs to confirm God’s will and empowerment (vv.17,36-40). So, why did the Lord address fearful Gideon as a “mighty man of valor”? Because of who Gideon would one day become with the Lord’s help.
We too may doubt our own abilities and potential. But let us never doubt what God can do with us when we trust and obey Him. Gideon’s God is the same God who will help us accomplish all that He asks us to do.