At the risk of sounding like I’m plugging my husband’s book, “Warriors in Hiding”, I HAVE to say that this principle of God using UNLIKELY people has been filling my mind lately.
After witnessing the incredible life and death of my sweet father-in-law, I was again reminded that it’s often the humble and unlikely person God chooses and uses to impact this world for His Kingdom. Eldon came from a large family that had very little by the world’s standards. He couldn’t finish high school, was drafted twice, and worked hard all of his life at a full time job while pastoring small churches all over the state. He was faithful to God and to his family. He loved people. The impact of his life is far-reaching and was evidenced in those last weeks and at his funeral. Who would have thought that a small town farmer’s son could make such a difference in so many lives.
I grew up in a family of 6, my Dad often working 2 or 3 jobs to make ends meet. We were a pretty average family (or so I thought), living in rural America. Four kids, Mom and Dad, a dog, a cat and a host of relatives living nearby. I was an average girl with average abilities and no confidence. I was always a happy sort of girl that made friends easily and enjoyed whomever I was with. Living in the same town my whole life, I was uprooted just before my Senior year of high school. I could write a ton on that subject, but the point I’m getting to is that by the time I started my senior year I had no more sense of direction than a compass with the pointer missing. I had no real ambition other than to be a wife and a mom. Doesn’t sound like much, I know, but it’s all I knew–and looking back, I believe God’s hand was preparing me to be a pastor’s wife. My passion for family meant that I would have the full-time job of bringing stability to, and providing a safe-haven for a pastor’s family. God put me in a vocation after high school that gave me the experience I’d need to help plan mission trips. My modest upbringing meant that adjusting to a limited income was not as difficult as it might have been if I’d grown up wealthy. The homemaking skills I learned in high school (accounting, sewing, bookkeeping, typing, and cooking in home economics–do they even have those anymore?!) prepared me to be a wife and mom.
If I had known what the future held for me I’m quite certain I would have been scared to death. A valuable lesson I’ve learned along the way is to be obedient to God today, and let Him take care of the tomorrows. It doesn’t mean we don’t plan or prepare, it’s just that sometimes our focus is on our circumstances instead of on the One who is in control of our circumstances. Here’s my point: Eldon and I were born on the same day. Each from humble circumstances with seemingly not much to offer this world, but God has chosen to use us as we walk in obedience to Him. I was just a young mom when God convicted me that my answer of “I can’t” had become a sin in my life. My insecurities had led me to believe that God couldn’t use me. It took the Holy Spirit speaking to my heart to reveal truth:
I Thessalonians 5:24
“ The ONE who calls you is faithful, and HE will do it.”
Often in the Bible God uses the unlikely to accomplish His purpose. Look at the types of people He chose: shepherds, teenagers, strangers, fearful followers and even enemies of the gospel–like Saul. Who am I to say “no” to the One who created me and gave me life eternal? My awareness of eternity has become more vivid, and my goals and dreams have become more focused on living a life that counts. We all are frail, fallen people, but our God is great and can accomplish more through us than we could ever hope or dream.
1 Corinthians 2:9
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.”
I still don’t have what the world would call “great aspirations”, but I do desire to follow God with my whole heart–wherever that might lead. Past experience tells me that often when God calls me to do something that I think I can’t, if I will only step out in obedience, HE will lead the way. I am again challenged to check my motives, clear my agenda, and let God lead. Why not do a little heart check and see if it’s been awhile since you’ve experienced God in a way that causes you to refocus? The old hymn comes to mind, “Turn your Eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His Glory and Grace!”
“Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while He is near.” Isaiah 55:6