noun | Gid·e·on | \ ˈgi-dē-ən \ | From the Hebrew verb גדע (gada’), to hew down or cut off.
The Hebrew people were in a crisis. The nomadic Midianites were destroying their crops and driving them into hiding places in caves and mountains. In the midst of this turmoil, Gideon, son of Joash, was working in his fields. A man appeared under a tree and told Gideon he would deliver Israel. Gideon asked how he, the least in a weak family, could lead Israel. The messenger assured Gideon he was chosen by God.
Through faith in God’s word, Gideon helped turn the hearts of the people back to the God who had delivered them from Egypt. He then defeated the Midianite horde with only 300 warriors. When he angered the Ephraimites, he calmed them by speaking of how much greater they were than him. When offered rule of the people, Gideon turned it down, saying God was king.
Remember Gideon’s faith. Remember his courage. Remember his humility.
noun | Mi·chael | \ ˈmī-kəl \ | From the Hebrew words (1) מי (mi), “who?”, (2) כ (ke), “like”, and (3) the word אל (‘el), God.
Michael is your compassionate, patient, and kind grandfather.
When your uncle David had a difficult time as a college student, your grandfather took the time to travel to Utah to bring David home – a sacrifice of time he has repeated whenever any of his children or grandchildren has needed him.
When circumstances resulted in a career change late in life, he had numerous options available to him. The path he chose was to teach teenagers math – showing a level of compassion and patience I may never understand. I hope to be more like him someday, ideally before I have teenagers in my own home.
And, important in your home full of women, your grandfather taught me how to respect women. He has always made decisions with your grandmother on equal terms. He gave equal time and attention to his sons and daughters. He encouraged all of us to succeed in our chosen paths – both in careers and in family life. He exercised his priesthood authority, but never with unrighteous dominion. It was always with persuasion, long-suffering, gentleness, meekness, and love unfeigned.
Remember your grandfather’s compassion, patience, and kindness.
There are other Gideon’s and Michael’s I could speak about if I had time. I hope you discover them and their stories throughout your life.