Judges 6:36-38 (NIV)
36 Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised— 37 look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.” 38 And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew—a bowlful of water.
Here is a great true story told by Evelyn Splane's the younger sister that helps illustrate the story of Gideon.
Two little sisters joined hands and skipped down the well-worn path to their playhouse. To the girls, their playhouse had real walls, not just a few sticks of wood in the shape of a square on the grass; and a real ceiling, not just green leaves and blue sky.
"Ev," said Clara, reflecting on the Bible story their dad had read that morning, from Judges 6, about Gideon, "what's a fleece?"
"I dunno," replied her sister, Evelyn. "Guess it must be a cloth, though, 'cause Gideon wringed it out."
Clara gave a big sigh. "Sure wish I knew what a fleece is."
"Why?" Satisfied with the ribbon she had been struggling with on her doll's bonnet, Evelyn wrapped her in a blanket.
"Because I want to know for sure if I'm s'posed to go to Africa to be a missionary. It would be terrible if I got way out there, then found out I belonged in China or somewhere else. If Gideon found out that he was s'posed to lead the army by seeing if there was water in his fleece, I can find out if I'm s'posed to go to Africa the same way. ... If I on'? Knew what a fleece is."
Evelyn jumped up from the ground. . ."I should find out if I'm s'posed ta go ta India, too." She put her finger to the side of her face. "A fleece must be a cloth, though."
"I guess it is." Clara rose slowly from the ground, letting out a long sigh. … "Let's put out a cloth tonight... Here." She pointed to a spot. "And see if it's wet in the morning. If it's wet, we're s'posed to go to Africa and India. If it's not, we're s'posed to go to some other countries."
"But we need two cloths," said Evelyn, looking at the spot on the ground. "One for each of us."
"That's right." Clara swooped down and snatched at her doll's blanket. "We could use Peggy Anne's and Eva's blankets."
"But . . . But they'd be cold tonight."
"Oh Ev. They're only dolls. Besides, they can sleep with us."
"No! I don't like a doll in bed with me, and I won't let Eva sleep all night without a blanket." She hugged her doll to her.
"I'll tell you what," said Clara. "We can't wring out cloth very well anyway. We'll get two tins and put them here ... to get water in." Again, Clara pointed to the spot. "It was God that put water in Gideon's fleece, and He can put water in our tins if He wants us to be missionaries in India and Africa."
The girls turned and ran from the playhouse, letting their dolls tumble to the ground. Running to the garbage at the back of the shack, they rummaged around, finding two tins. A few minutes later, they were scampering back toward the playhouse, a Nabob coffee can and a Empress strawberry jam can in their hands. The girls set their tins in place, picked up their dolls, and headed back to the house.
"Clara?" Evelyn grabbed her sister's arm, pulling her to a stop. "When Gideon put his fleece out to get water in it, didn't he pray that God would make it wet, so he'd know if he was s'posed to lead the army? We should pray, shouldn't we?"
The girls joined hands. "Dear God," they prayed together. "Put water in our tins, if you want us in India and Africa. Amen." Still holding hands, they skipped up the path toward the house.
The next morning just as the sun was peeking over the horizon, Clara and Evelyn raced each other to the window.
"Oh, Ev! It rained! It rained!" Still in their nighties, the sisters ran down the path to where two tins, spilling water over their brims, waited for them.
God's eye was on those sisters. He kept them in His will. Yes!
* *Clara went to Africa, and Ev's land is India still.
Dear Lord, we pray that our eyes would be open to what You want for each one of us. When we see the fleece is wet or the tie is full help us follow what You have for us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.