I wasn’t planning to write about Deborah this week, and I am unsure if I should post this as personal or biography. Probably personal because this is about my experience and one you might share.
I have been so busy traveling and then home with several early morning appointments I haven’t had the time that I so cherish to read my Bible and write in my journal.
I know I have to nourish my own soul apart from this blog, or I will most certainly stumble and fall.
But then Deborah came up, and I happened on something I hadn’t thought about before.
Ok, first the back story. Way back in Judges, after Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, and after Joshua led them into the promised land, there were Judges to rule over Israel. Among them, Deborah, a woman. That was like being the king or the queen of Israel. It was a big deal.
She summoned Barak, the head of her army, and told him that the Lord wanted Israel to go out and fight their enemy, Sisera, and she even had a battle plan from the Lord. Sisera had a formidable army and 900 chariots with iron wheels. Barak declared he would not go unless Deborah went with him.
Here is what captured my attention:
Would Barak have hesitated to go to war with Sisera if the order had come from Joshua rather than from Deborah, a woman?
Deborah described herself as a mother in Israel. Mothers are warriors, but usually in the home, not on the battlefield. Nevertheless, she agreed to go with him.
And this is where I took it personally. I have been in ministry with my husband Tom in the Christian Motorcyclists Association for the last thirty years. I know many of you who are reading this are also members of CMA, so you will easily relate to what I am about to share.
For those readers who are not part of CMA, our primary ministry is to go to any motorcycling rally, race, or event and be a presence. We hand out ice water or coffee, entertain children, volunteer to help with the event, and hopefully, we are permitted a time and place to have a Sunday Morning Service.
I enjoyed riding with my husband, spending time with friends, and volunteering at events. My passion wasn’t for motorcycling. My heart was for the women. Although many women ride, and there are even ride groups and clubs especially for women, there are also women who are part of another male dominated club culture. Many of them wear a back patch that declares them as property of a particular club.
There are a lot of women in that culture who do not know that they could be the property of the King of Kings.
I saw too many women who gave too much to appease the ego of the men they were with, and it made me sad. Sometimes, it even made me angry.
So I put on my leathers and my helmet, and I climbed on the back of the motorcycle, in all kinds of weather, and I went to where they were. I went hoping I could have even a brief conversation with a woman who needed to know that her price was far above rubies. Those conversations often took place in the ladies’ room, the only place many of them felt free to talk to one of us.
Over those thirty years, I talked to, listened to, comforted, encouraged, and prayed with prostitutes, bikini girls, women who wore property patches, wives, mothers, vendors, and young women looking for love in all the wrong places.
As I read about Deborah, I realized that I am a Deborah. I went to the battlefield, just like she did, even though I too identified more as a wife and mother than a warrior.
I faced my own Sisera with his iron-wheeled chariots.
I went where God called, and I did my best to meet the enemy (Satan) in a fierce battle to save the souls of women God intended for me to reach.
And probably, so have you. I believe that we have all been called to be a Deborah at one time or another. We have gone into situations that were hard for us, scary or intimidating. But we pulled ourselves up, and we took the first step, and then the next, and told ourselves that if God was for us, who could be against us. We could do this. There are so many moments in a woman’s life that call for a woman to be a warrior.
Ephesians 2:10 has been my clarion call
For you are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which he prepared in advance for you to do.Ephesians 2:10
When I approached a woman at a rally or motorcycling event, I never doubted that God had already laid the groundwork and prepared the heart of the woman he wanted me to meet at each and every event. I just needed to get up and go.
When Deborah went to the battlefield, I am sure she saw and heard things she wished she had never had to witness. In like manner, some events we attended were hard for a God-fearing woman to stand. I have witnessed behaviors that were deeply disturbing to me. Maybe you have too.
You, too, might be destined to be a Deborah, called to go where the battle rages. Are you prepared to step up if the need arises? Will you go, even if it is out of your comfort zone? You might not see yourself as a warrior. Deborah sure didn’t, and neither did I.
There are many ways to be a warrior. Some fight on their knees. Some go carrying that sword and shield of faith. What’s important is that we do what we can for the people and for the causes we care most about. It might be for your career, your family, or for the sake of the kingdom.