For those of you keeping track, I’m still parked in Judges 6-7, I reread a question Gideon asked of the Angel of the Lord in Judges 6:13:
“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.”
I understand his question..it makes complete sense to wonder ‘why bad things happen.’ Sometimes, God gives us a clear answer during or after the storm..sometimes, we won’t know this side of heaven. BUT, I think oftentimes, God uses those hard times to help us transition from ‘knowing’ Him to ‘experiencing’ Him.
I live in Waco. I shopped at “Magnolia” before it was “Magnolia.” Chip & Joanna’s kids used to go to school with my kids before they were “Chip & Joanna.” I’ve been at Starbucks and sat at a table next to Chip before he was “Chip”. I know things about them…I know people who ‘know’ them…but I don’t ‘KNOW’ them. I haven’t experienced having a personal relationship with them. If I passed them on the street, they wouldn’t know my name and I don’t really ‘know’ anything about who they REALLY are.
Sometimes, we think we ‘know’ God when really we just know things about Him..or we know people who ‘know’ Him or we’ve been in the vicinity near Him, but we, personally, haven’t experienced a real relationship with Him. Sometimes it takes those rocky and difficult seasons for us to move from knowing about God to experiencing Him. If we never need him to provide or heal or answer a prayer, than how will we ever really know that He IS who He says He is? How will we move from head knowledge to heart knowledge? How will we ever be able to trust Him and be obedient to wherever He calls us if we first haven’t had the chance to experience His trustworthiness for ourselves?