“Sir,” Gideon replied, “if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about? Didn’t they say, ‘The Lord brought us up out of Egypt’? But now the Lord has abandoned us and handed us over to the Midianites.”
Judges 6:13 NLT
The beginning of this chapter begins with “And Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord.” They did their own things for seven years and then were surprised at where they found themselves. As I read this scripture, I thought about how many times I have strayed from God and then found myself asking” If God is for me, then why is this happening?”
I remember when I first became a Christian, I was so intent on doing the right things. It probably bordered on trying to work for God’s approval. My heart was in the right place, I was trying to please God. I knew what I would and wouldn’t do because I loved God. This deterred me for a long time, but I never had a surrendered heart change. As time went on I started to compromise things until eventually I found myself looking back asking “Why is this happening?” The truth is God didn’t change. He didn’t move. I am the one that did.
I didn’t set out to be so far away from God, it came through subtle compromises that individually were nothing. However, one compromise lead to another and eventually I found myself farther down the path than I expected. Turning back wasn’t easy. I knew my poor choices led me where I was.
When you ask “Why is this happening?” and the answer is “your choices” it is humbling. I found myself wanting to say God had abandoned me, but His promise was to never leave or forsake me. I abandoned Christ in my choices. Guilt and shame muddled the broken path back to Christ. The path that seemed so simple as I walked away was filled with many twists and turns, ups and downs, and obstacles.
God does not deliver us, and then turn His back. He is there, even after we have walked away beckoning us to come back to Him. Just as He met the Israelites, He has also met me. I had to hold on to the things God had done in my past to get me through the hard seasons of coming back. I know that God is still working on me. However, I know the Lord is with me and He will finish the good work He began.