“Then Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said, behold, I am laying a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece alone, and it is dry on the ground, then I shall know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said.” And it was so. When he rose early the next morning and squeezed the fleece, he wrung enough dew from the fleece to fill a bowl with water. Then Gideon said to God, “Let not your anger burn against me; let me speak just once more. Please let me test just once more with the fleece. Please let it be dry on the fleece only, and on the ground let there be dew.” And God did so that night; and it was dry on the fleece only, and on all the ground there was dew.
– Judges 6:36-40
Scripture tells us that God speaks to us in many ways and through different objects, visions, dreams, circumstances, His Holy Spirit, and even audibly in some cases. I suspect that most of us have experienced a scripture reading, a sermon, or a circumstance wherein we felt God was speaking directly to us. In the Scripture above Gideon used fleece in asking God to confirm His mission for Gideon.
In my life, God has spoken inaudibly to me through different methods. One of which was coins. Yes, coins. Let me explain. My father was a lifetime coal miner raising six children. Funds were always scarce. As a third-grader I began attending the Methodist church at the request of my cute classmate, Ruth Marie Craig. Soon I accepted Jesus as my Savior. I was the only member of my family who attended church. My prayers carried me through the many difficulties my family faced.
My youthful faith was especially strong. I trusted in God for everything, big and small. So much so, that while in grade school, I prayed a child’s prayer that God would help me find some money so that I could see a movie playing in our little town. Walking through the outfield of a baseball diamond near my home, I looked in the grass, and there it was – a quarter. In my childhood, that quarter paid for the movie fee plus a coke and popcorn. That’s right – a quarter! My trust in God was confirmed and grew even stronger that day.
Years later, while I was serving as a minister at a church in North Carolina, I recalled the quarter incident. I was on one of my early morning walks, which I loved because I had time to commune with God. I was telling God that I yearned to have that complete, wholehearted, unquestioning faith that I had as a child. Was it possible?
As I asked God to help me have that faith, I glanced into the street that ran parallel to the sidewalk I was on. There, next to the curb, was a quarter. I couldn’t believe it! “God, are You telling me that I can still have that complete faith? You still hear the smallest of prayers?” As I walked on buoyed by what I took as surely a sign from God, the serpent of lies began his attack. Like his questioning of Eve in the garden, “Did God really say that?” I began to question if the quarter was truly a sign from God or a mere coincidence. Like Gideon, I needed further confirmation.
As I walked on pondering what had happened, I had gone only fifty yards or so, when lying there in the street by the curb, was another quarter. Some of us are thick-headed, but God is faithful to not give up on us. Now I was pretty sure that God was affirming that I should retain faith like a child – totally believing and trusting!
As much I hate to admit this, my adult mind still sought explanations of how those quarters could have ended up in the street rather than purposely placed there by God to solidify my complete faith. Struggling and wanting so much to believe the quarters were from God and not a coincidence, I had gone roughly another seventy yards when I glanced into the street and there it was – another quarter! Okay, I’m thick-headed and Satan is a deceiver, but without any doubt, I know in my heart that God communicated to me that day that our faith is to be completely trusting and dependent in all things great and small.
Heavenly Father, my prayer is that we are always receptive, sensitive, and obedient to every message You send us through whatever medium or messenger You choose. May we have a childlike faith that is completely trusting in Your goodness, grace, compassion, love, and forgiveness in all circumstances. I pray we will recognize the value of each person as created by You, and that we are all Brothers and Sisters with one Heavenly Father.
Retired Associate Pastor