In today’s reading the Israelites were once again caught up in their human nature. They coveted and doubted, once again failing to trust in God. The disciples in Luke 9 weren’t much different. They doubted their ability to cast a demon out of a boy, and argued about who would be the greatest among them in the kingdom of heaven. In both Joshua 7-9 and Luke 9:37-62, we once again see human nature at it’s worst, and most real. Because haven’t we, too, had moments of doubts? Haven’t we, too, had moments in which we failed to trust God, and instead turned and high-tailed-it out of a scary situation? What I love is that God uses us, even in our moments of weakness.
In Joshua 8 we read about the taking of the city of Ai. Here’s the verse in particular that stuck out to me:
“The men of Ai looked back and saw the smoke of the city rising against the sky, but they had no chance to escape in any direction, for the Israelites who had been fleeing toward the desert had turned back against their pursuers” (Joshua 8:20 NIV).
While their fellow soldiers were burning the city, some of the Israelites had run for the desert. Their fear had overtaken any faith that God would provide. But then, God used them. As they turned around and realized that the battle had turned, they were able to capture the fleeing men of Ai. Their fear ended up being a strategic battle move. God used them, even in their moment of doubt, to be all the more victorious in the end.
Isn’t it amazing how God uses us, weaknesses and all? There have certainly been times when God has used my timidity and shyness to reach out to others with similar fears. He’s used me disappointments in writing and teaching to empathize with friends who were going through something similar. He’s used my very weaknesses to point most assuredly back to Him.
“For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10 NIV).
Has God ever used you at your weakest? What did it feel like? What did you learn from the experience?
Lord, please use my weaknesses today to make your name shine all the brighter.