Gideon and the Hiker: A Tale of Two Clingers
There’s a story of a man who was hiking. On his journey that day he unfortunately slipped off the edge and was dangling from a canyon wall. Holding tightly to a small tree that was growing out the cliff face, he prayed to God. “God,” he said out loud, “if this is my time, then I’m ready to die. But if you want me to live, I’ll live! Just give me a sign!!”
Another hiker, hearing this conversation, leaned over the edge and saw the man dangling. The hiker did her best to reach out and call to the man, “I’m here! reach for my hand!”
“God??” asked the hanging man with hope.
“No. I’m Susan, but I’m here to help!”
“Oh. Thank you, but I’m still waiting for a sign from God.”
This week in our series, Relational Vampires, we look back at the story of Gideon. Gideon was one of the Judges in the Old Testament who was called out by God to rescue the Israelites. Though God thought Gideon was up to the task, I don’t think Gideon did. We see a constant effort on Gideon’s part to make God prove himself.
Despite all of this we remember Gideon today as a hero of old. Though Gideon was clingy and needy, he ultimately decided to follow God the best he could. I think people throughout history have found it comforting that even though we doubt and hesitate, God is faithful to do what He has said He will do. God is the real hero of the story. And we will do well to remember that “the best ability is availability.”
I highly encourage you to read Judges 6 in preparation for Sunday so that you’re ready to absorb more of the story as Pastor Erik unfolds his insight on how to deal with Clingy People.