- Jael (Judges 4). Jael drove a spike through the temple of Sisera after luring him into her tent. God used her obedience and cunning to stop the leader of an army of 10,000 threatening His people.
- Hanna (1 Samuel). Hanna was barren and greatly ridiculed by her husbands other wife. She prayed for a son and dedicated him solely to God's service. Her strength is in her complete obedience to God and sending her child away at a young age to serve.
- Abigail (1 Samuel). Abigail was described as beautiful, however, she was married to a pig headed man. When David asked for hospitality, Abigail's husband nearly cost them all their lives with his curt reply. Abigail went ahead and bowed before David in reverence as she brought gifts and apologies. We can overlook that she overstepped her husband, and that would constitute severe punishment. Her obedience saved many lives, including her own.
- Esther (Esther). Let's not overlook the fact that Esther's obedience was so important that she got an entire book of the Bible! Esther put her own life on the line for the many lives of her people and was blessed greatly through generations.
- Deborah (Judges). Oh my, how I love Deborah (and not just because my mom and daughter share her name). Deborah didn't sink back just because she was a woman. She was actually a prophetess, Bible woman during one of Isreal's most trying times. She was appointed by God at that time!
The Story of Deborah in the Bible - excerpts from Judges 5, NKJV
I encourage you to read through the stories of ALL of these ladies, especially if you are struggling with your own purpose.
God uses women. That is a Biblical fact you can stamp on your forehead sister. If you feel as though you haven't been used, maybe you haven't yet offered up the use of your full self...
One of the facts of fight training is that you must FIRST learn how to fall because you will get knocked down. The second lesson is how to get back up. I have found these to be the two BIGGEST lessons in training and in life.
I have fallen many times in this life. For a few years, I simply stumbled from one thing to another. Then I had a fall that would change my life forever. A fall that would ripple to all around me and begin to change the fabric of my faith.
Several years ago, I felt like my husband and I should have another baby. No big deal right? Well, when your kids are teens and you've been perfectly content with life, you second guess it. After prayer and a lot of talking, I was pregnant. Everything was going swimmingly, and as stated before, the doctor was surprised by how quickly the baby grew. I myself thought I was growing a super human :). Anyways, at my 16 week check up, there was no heart beat. The baby had died and I, as his/her mother, didn't even know. I smiled, assured the doctor I was just fine, made my appointment for a D&C, and then met my husband at home for a glass of wine and copious amounts of fudge (it was right before Christmas). The following weeks are what truly made a difference...
To say that I was mad or angry is an understatement. I was livid. I was confused. I was broken, and I didn't like it. I stopped reading my Bible and absolutely refused to talk to God. He had taken from me, and I was acting a bit like a scorned toddler. My sense of self was skewed and I really didn't understand why He had left me here at all.
Why bring this particular story back to life again?
Because I came to a crossroads at this time in life. I could choose to believe when God said He meant everything for my good, or I could choose to ignore that fact. In the middle of a church service, the Holy Spirit (persistent guy...) broke through my self imposed barriers and begged me to believe.
This changed the question of GOOD for me. You see, I cannot see the whole picture, all I am shown is but a glimpse. The whole picture of my life and God's plan would dumbfound me (and God knows I already struggle with that). I am only show what I can handle in that very moment, so everything else is faith. Like Esther, I must step out in faith and be obedient. Like Deborah, I must step into my warrior gear and prepare myself to lead the charge. I cannot sit by apathetically any longer, simply wishing life was more comfortable.
Your encouragement for today is twofold: Read the opening scripture and pinpoint ONE part of the armor of God to work on this week. Next, read the stories presented of strong women of the Bible, then seek out more stories. Immerse yourself in His Word and the good you are so desperately seeking with be shown to you.....but it may not be what you expected.