Do you remember Don Knotts? If you're my age or older, the answer is a definite yes, I'm sure. Skinny and bug-eyed, Don Knotts was never meant to be a leading man. But he made a great career out of playing a character that was always scared out of his wits. Incidentally, I learned this week that there is an urban legend that says Knotts was a drill sargeant during World War II! This goes along with the legends that say Mr. Rogers was a sniper in Vietnam, and that Captain Kangaroo was a hero at Iwo Jima...none of them are true. But it's amazing the kinds of things people believe, just because they read them on an email!
This week, we're studying the story of Gideon, one of the great heroes of the Old Testament. Gideon led the greatest upset victory in military history, and brought liberation (and more importantly, revival) to Israel against incredible odds. He took on a vast, fierce coalition of armies with only 300 men...armed only with trumpets, jars and torches. Yet when we read the story of Gideon in Judges 6-7, it sounds like Don Knotts would be the perfect choice to play Gideon in a movie about his life. In fact, I almost titled my sermon, "The Lord and Mr. Chicken" (after Don Knotts' movie, "The Ghost and Mr. Chicken"), but I decided to stick with the titular theme.
I find all of that comforting, since frankly I'm a lot more Don Knotts than John Wayne myself. God can use people who are less than confident...in fact, He tends to turn our weaknesses and insecurities into a strength. I hope I see you there, and that you find the message inspirational, but here's a warning: Prepare to discard all your comfortable excuses for why God could NEVER use you.