Confession: I wrote this post and then let it it sit as a draft, untouched and unposted for 2-1/2 weeks. The hurricane ended up fizzling out (at least for our small part of the island chain – you can read that story here). Interestingly enough, we have another hurricane headed our way this week (after all, #hurricaneseason). And I still want to share with you the Gideon-nuggets I had tucked away here. xo, Jane
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Currently: there is an unprecedented category four hurricane headed for our tiny little island, and I am doing my best to chase the stomach flu bugs out of our house (that have managed to take up residence for a week now). Between shopping for non-perishable foods and water, filling up bathtubs, washing all of the laundry, pre-grinding the coffe (y’know, power outage priorities), and cleaning up the very sad aftermath of middle-of-the-night vomiting for a helpless little toddler who decided to sleep in his mess, I’ve managed to hit one very big milestone this week:
The chaos that is literally swirling around us is almost comical with the timing. After all, isn’t that always how things tend to work? God strips away all of our time and energy and mental capacity just before a big movement of His Spirit? At least He does with me, in that Gideon kind of way that has been a story on repeat during my quiet times for weeks now.
I reached out to my book launch team yesterday afternoon with an honesty-hour-prayer-ask in the middle of hurricane watch notifications and a crying little one, suddenly awake one hour into his typically three-hour nap. There was so much to do. And not enough time to do it in. And one of those Gideon-lovelies reminded me of that story – the part where God appeared in the midst of Gideon’s work.
I sat down this morning and opened to Judges 6 to look closer at that particular verse. God appearing right then and there as Gideon threshed in secret, neck-deep in the midst of the most unproductive kind of work was a detail I hadn’t realized before. You know the kind – where you see it but kind of read past it to the better part. This morning, I stayed right there.
Now the Angel of the Lord came and sat under the terebinth tree which was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon threshed wheat in the winepress, in order to hide it from the Midianites. And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said to him, “The LORD is with you, you mighty man of valor!”
Here’s the bare-bones of Gideon’s scenario: typically, threshing wheat is done outside with the harvest-pile thrown up into the air where the wind can blow away the lighter chaff, leaving the heavier wheat behind. But the Israelites were under siege, with the Midianites routinely storming in and taking anything and everything of value. So Gideon was hiding. And secretly threshing wheat by the winepress. And here’s the thing about that: the winepress that was used for treading grapes in Gideon’s time? They were frequently dug out in the soil or excavated in a rock, which meant that the wind was blocked, making threshing wheat next to impossible. And very, very frustrating.
I’m kind of in that place these days, with a mound of work to do, and not enough time to do it all in. The fact that this pre-ordering alone is live is no small feat, and I identified with Gideon this morning – feeling like I was throwing all of these must-get-done items up in the air, and they all came falling down just the same. The wheat with the chaff. I felt helpless at all the things that were working against me. I desperately needed some open-air wind.
Now, the timing of those words is not lost on me – just as our little island is under a hurricane warning, and there is some mighty hurricane-wind headed right for us. But God quickly reminded me of two things this morning:
- As I listened to worship, one of my favorite songs for this right-now season came on. Toward the end of it, there is one, repeated prayer-line: “Let Your wind blow through me.” I AM your wind, He whispered in that continued-conversation way that He has about Him.
- Those tried-and-true words of Romans 8:31: What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? You are so right, Paul. So, so right.
And so, we brace ourselves for Hurricane Lane. And I brace myself in faith for the wind of His Spirit to come make this threshing possible. And glory in the fact we made the deadline! And Mercy Like Morning is finally available for pre-order! Make sure to order your copy today!