Then the angel of the Lord came and sat under the oak that was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite as his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press in order to save it from the Midianites. The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “The Lord is with you, O valiant warrior.” Then Gideon said to him, “O my Lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.” The Lord looked at him and said, “Go in this your strength and deliver Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you?”

A common saying is, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” Surely Gideon must have been wondering something similar. What do you think he was feeling in these verses? His questions are very telling. Where are you God? Why have you abandoned us? Where are your miracles?

Have you ever questioned God in this way, like Gideon? Has it ever occurred to you that your suffering and your trials might have you right smack dab in the center of God’s will for your life? In the storm, He is teaching, building, equipping, and training you up for some greater purpose and cause. Gideon’s hardships became the foundation upon which God delivered an entire nation.

Gideon thought of himself as the least important person in all of Israel, but God used him in a mighty way. God used him to lead his country to victory. We may not always understand and we may have many questions. It may be difficult to believe sometimes, but God can—and does—use all of us!

• Can you think back on a time when God helped you accomplish something you didn’t think you could do? What was that experience like?

• Do you know someone else who feels like they are failing? How can you help encourage them?

• As you remember the story of Gideon today, tell God you’re willing to go wherever He leads you and do whatever He asks of you.