The following post is by Cheryl Lashmit as part of the Life-Changing Scriptures for Writers Project.
Then AJerubbaal (that is, Gideon) and all the people who were with him rose early and encamped beside the spring of Harod. And the camp of Midian was north of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley. The Lord said to Gideon, “The people with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel boast over me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’ Now therefore proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, ‘Whoever is fearful and trembling, let him return home and hurry away from Mount Gilead.’” Then 22,000 of the people returned, and 10,000 remained.
And the Lord said to Gideon, “The people are still too many. Take them down to the water, and I will test them for you there, and anyone of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall go with you,’ shall go with you, and anyone of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ shall not go.” So he brought the people down to the water. And the Lord said to Gideon, “Every one who laps the water with his tongue, as a dog laps, you shall set by himself. Likewise, every one who kneels down to drink.” And the number of those who lapped, putting their hands to their mouths, was 300 men, but all the rest of the people knelt down to drink water. And the Lord said to Gideon, “With the 300 men who lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hand, and let all the others go every man to his home.” So the people took provisions in their hands, and their trumpets. And he sent all the rest of Israel every man to his tent, but retained the 300 men. And the camp of Midian was below him in the valley. (Judges 7: 1-8)
In the three years since my children’s book was published, I have learned that this is God’s book, not mine. I was holding on so tightly, but I had to learn to let go. Fortunately, I have gone from making myself crazy by trying to bring attention to the book, to having peace. To make that happen, I had to hand it over to the Lord and say, “your way, Jesus, not mine.”
The Lord brought me to Judges 7 during my quiet time with Him. Until this time, I had been doing what I was advised to do by other authors, other professionals. God, however, was calling me to something completely different. I was reminded, when reflecting on the passages in Judges, how God surprised Gideon as he was about to go into battle. He had to surrender to the Lord by letting go of his own ways for God’s ways. He was asked to let go of twenty two thousand men, armed and ready to fight, to just three hundred. In his obedience and trust in God, the Midianites were defeated! The glory, though, was for God, not Gideon.
God was asking that I do the same: to lay down my ways, my approach, my weapons. I felt like God wanted to bring the open doors to me – and I was simply to go in. The closed ones were usually the biggest disappointments, times when I had to learn to radically trust, because it just wasn’t HIS WAY. I had to learn to shake off the “asking why” and say “ok, let’s move forward in faith.”
It hasn’t been without struggle. Instead, it’s been two steps forward, one step back. I follow the Good Shepherd, though, and I choose to be content in it all and grateful in my dependence on Him. My weapons and ways become less and less, but my faith becomes more and more.
Cheryl M. Lashmit is the author of the children’s book titled I Am Truly Loved; the Spanish translated version is Siento Un Amor Sincero. Her website is www.cheryllashmit.com and she can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cheryl-Lashmit/200700943445867?ref=hl
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