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A Mountain Creek Adventure

Sometimes little city girls are not accustomed to the critters of the outdoor terrain. Therefore, one may or may not be eager to place their bare feet into a creek bed. However, it was dog-hot on a recent family vacation, and the cool mountain water babbled a promise of relief.

Therefore, dresses were knotted up within minutes, and shoes were tossed aside for an unplanned playdate with a fresh mountain brook. Hesitations turned into bravery. Bravery turned into giggles. Giggles turned into a fun and memorable afternoon.

Have you ever been a little hesitant to jump into the unknown, then as you found your courage, the event turned into a fun and memorable experience? Me, too!

My mind travels to a man in Scripture who faced the unknown. He, too, hesitated before jumping into a situation. However, he stepped bravely forward and found sweet relief in the hard. He found freedom not only for himself but his people. Hesitations turned into bravery. Bravery turned into a celebration.

In the book of Judges, we read Gideon's story. His people had "done what was evil in the sight of the Lord." Without the Lord's protection, the Midianites were stealing their crops and mistreating them. The Israelites repented and cried out to the Lord God for his saving grace.

Enter Gideon.

An angel of the Lord came to Gideon, saying he would lead the nation to freedom. But Gideon hesitated. Lord, he asked, is this you? Are you sure about this? Seeking reassurance, Gideon asked the Lord for a sign or a "fleece" before moving forward.

Note Gideon's hesitation below from Judges 6:11-18.

"The angel of the LORD came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, "The LORD is with you, mighty warrior." “Pardon me, my lord," Gideon replied, "but if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, 'Did not the LORD bring us up out of Egypt?' But now the LORD has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian." The LORD turned to him and said, "Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian's hand. Am I not sending you?" "Pardon me, my lord," Gideon replied, "but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family." The LORD answered, "I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive." Gideon replied, "If now I have found favor in your eyes, give me a sign that it is really you talking to me. Please do not go away until I come back and bring my offering and set it before you." And the LORD said, "I will wait until you return."

Gideon hesitated. God waited. God gave Gideon what he needed to step into the unknown.

Judges 6:23 reads, "Peace, do not be afraid."

God gave reassurance to Gideon's request. Later in this same chapter, God provided the assurance needed.

Gideon said to God, "If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised— look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said." And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew—a bowlful of water. Then Gideon said to God, "Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece, but this time make the fleece dry and let the ground be covered with dew." That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with dew.

Gideon then moved forward and, through a series of events, led 300 men to fight for their freedom! The Lord fought the enemy through Gideon, and the entire nation was freed! Fast ford to chapter 7 from Judges below:

"So Gideon and the hundred men who were with him came to the outskirts of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch when they had just set the watch. And they blew the trumpets and smashed the jars that were in their hands. Then the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the jars. They held in their left hands the torches and in their right hands the trumpets to blow. And they cried out, "A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!" Every man stood in his place around the camp, and all the army ran. They cried out and fled. When they blew the 300 trumpets, the Lord set every man's sword against his comrade and against all the army. And the army fled as far as Beth-shittah toward Zererah,[a] as far as the border of Abel-meholah, by Tabbath. And the men of Israel were called out from Naphtali and from Asher and from all Manasseh, and they pursued after Midian'

Victory was displayed as man stepped into the unknown!

Friend, I don't know what you are facing today, but perhaps you must enter the river. Maybe, you are seeking a career change but unsure of the unknown. Then seek the Lord for wisdom and trust his guidance. James 1:5, "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him."

Do you need to trust the Lord with your children? I like to pray Philippians 2:13 over my children: "It is God who works in ------ (insert your child's name) both to will and to work for his good pleasure." I remember Proverbs 3:5-6. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding." Perhaps, this will help you too.

Maybe, you are seeking a new relationship but are afraid of the unknowns. Trust the Lord as you seek his wisdom. Take the next step.

Maybe, today is the day to stick your toes in the water. Step into the unknown! Your hesitations can turn into bravery—your bravery into giggles. Your giggles turned into a fun and memorable spiritual victory. I challenge you to trust the Lord enough to take the next step. I believe He will give you everything needed to move forward.

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