He was from the weakest clan in his tribe, he was the youngest in his family, and his faith was so small, it took an appearance by an angel of the Lord and three separate miraculous signs to convince him that God was with him. And when it came to his army, he went from 32,000 men down to 300. Are you still doing the math? That’s a loss of 31,700 men. And then there was the little matter of weapons. Among them there wasn’t a sword, spear or an arrow to be found; only clay pots, torches and ram’s horns. What?
“Though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does,” said Paul, years later. “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.” (2 Corinthians 10:3-4) God’s wars are never fought by the numbers, though we incessantly try to crunch them. Go ahead, crunch these numbers. Any way you cut it they come out a deficit. Why? So that God’s power can be plainly seen. Wait a minute, anyone in their right mind would say, looking at these numbers, three hundred guys routed an army of 120,000? Impossible. But that’s what happened, leaving you with the only possible explanation being: God did it. He had to have done it; they didn’t lift a sword.
To be sure, Gideon and his men must have picked up some weapons off their slain enemies, because they went on to crush the 15,000 Midianites who fled the scene, including their two kings, but this is also where the story goes south. As soon as they get things back in their own hands, the successes go to their heads and they mess it up. And instead of building an altar to God and humbling himself as the result of his victory, Gideon fashioned a golden ephod out of the spoils of the battle, and it became a snare to his family and the rest of the nation.
So we need to do some of this math in our own lives. What are those things that have weakened you? What are those circumstances that have rendered you powerless? What about your failures? Losses? Inadequacies? Heartbreaks? Abandonment?
Go ahead, list them out on a page. Then rename them your Secret Strengths, because that is what they are. They are your Secret Strengths because in them you discover God’s power in your life leaving no doubt about where it comes from. This will be obvious to you and those around you who know you, among whom you have not hidden your weaknesses and inadequacies. This, not your achievements and awards, will be your real legacy: that you discovered God’s power in your life and never turned away from it.
“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” (1 Corinthians 1:27)
“That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10)
Rewrite your story. It’s the opposite of what it seems.