I teach Gospel Doctrine at church. That means every Sunday I lead the Sunday School discussion in a large chapel full of adults. I’m dripping with nervous sweat by the end of the hour every single week, but I really, really love it. I get to dig into the scriptures and really challenge myself to apply them to the world and life I know.
Sunday’s lesson was taken from the book of Judges in the Old Testament. As we spoke about Gideon, one phrase really stuck out to me and became a focal point of our conversation. After the Lord has told Gideon that he needs to save the Israelites from the Midianites, and Gideon has responded that his family is poor and he is ‘the least in my father’s house,’ the Lord replies,
“Surely I will be with thee.”
Last week was kind of a doozy. We returned from a two week vacation (but let’s call it a trip, because traveling thousands of miles with four children in a mini-van isn’t very vacation-like, is it?) on Monday evening and I proceeded to jump into trip recovery. Moms, you know what this looks like. Laundry galore, vacuuming out the van that looks so disgusting you just want to drive it to the salvage yard, sorting through mail, re-stocking the fridge, all those fun things. Then right in the middle of that, Roger awesomely flooded our upstairs the night before our hopeful renters were coming for dinner. Needless to say, I felt overwhelmed, grumpy with my kids, ugly, and a little bit nuts. I’m pretty sure I told Taylor, “I wish my teaching credentials were up to date and that that job paid more because I should go to work and you should stay home the kids. I suck at this job.”
Then, one night, the Spirit whispered some very clear instructions. A formula. “You need to get up early every morning to read your scriptures, pray, and exercise. And you need to get out of your head and be social every day.” Plain as day, I had my recipe. The solution to all the crazy, ‘I am terrible at my chosen vocation and my children are going to need therapy’ thoughts.
Gideon’s tiny army of 300 prevailed over the Midianites. But it wasn’t really them. It was God. He was with them. And they knew it. He is with me, too. And you. And I sincerely believe He cares as much about giving me those mundane, practical instructions as He cared about Gideon and his army. He and I both know that I can’t make my life beautiful and accomplished by myself. Or raise these children to be outstanding by myself.
And so I remember, “Surely I will be with thee.” And I feel strong.