By Asst Ps Lai Keet Keong
When God called Gideon out from the village of Ophrah and set him apart to be Israel’s deliverer against the Midianites, Gideon accomplished the mission with a mere 300 men (Judges 7). What a powerful encouragement for us, especially with a shortage of leaders and co-workers to serve alongside us in ministry! At times, we wish for the gathering of Gideon’s 300 in our employ.
However, the lesson of Gideon’s 300 is not just about choosing right leaders with might or skills; it is about the weakness of men and the power of God.
“The LORD said to Gideon, "You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands. In order that Israel may not boast against me that her own strength has saved her…" (Judges 7:2)
There may come a time when the Lord calls us out of our comfort zone to set us apart for a mission beyond ourselves. Even when numbers and resources do not seem to add up, we must remember it is not about our shortfall but the power of God.
God called Gideon a “mighty warrior” to assure him that God saw value in him even when he himself and the people around him did not. Gideon placed himself in God’s mighty hand and went on to do amazing things for His Kingdom. This is equally true in times of trouble. Our God will never leave nor forsake those who put their trust in Him.
In August 2009, the Taipei Times reported the dreadful devastation brought by an earthquake in the town of Liukuei (六龟). An account was given of a policeman named Chang who was finally airlifted to safety after being stranded on the roof of the police station for four full days. He had no food and lived by drinking only rainwater.
When asked how he persevered, he replied, “I survived by not losing hope, praying and holding onto a steel beam to withstand the floodwaters... Aside from God, there was nobody I could ask for help when I was trapped.” 
It is not uncommon to choose to handle challenges by ourselves. Such independence is well applauded and cheered on in our culture. However, it takes even greater courage to be open to seeking help from someone other than ourselves. Sometimes our refusal to acknowledge that we are trapped may cause greater harm to ourselves and to those who matter to us.
Jesus said, “For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Luke 11:10)
We should learn to encourage ourselves in the Lord and not lose hope. We should also recognize that sometimes the best way to overcome is to hold on to the steel beam of God’s truth and place ourselves in the hands of our loving Heavenly Father in hope and prayer. Sometimes He will send people to bring encouragement and comfort. When you open your heart, you will receive the encouragement you need. And His power will be made perfect in our weaknesses (2 Cor 12:9).
I sincerely believe that CARE Groups are communities for mutual care and support towards transformation and breakthroughs. As we serve one another in the small group, we continue to grow out of our comfort zone into God’s destiny for us.
We are God’s vessels in the making, gently and firmly molded on the potter’s wheel, in the hands of our good and mighty God. Do not fear but put your trust in God who is more than able to keep you faithful and blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor 1:8-9).
 (Taipei Times, 18/8/2009 http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2009/08/18/2003451418)