It is easy to consider ourselves to be nothing more than “just a” … businessman/woman, teacher, housewife/husband, nurse/doctor, mom/dad etc. We tend to view ourselves as simply average, living our lives as well as possible but as nothing special.
But God does not look at us through those same eyes. God sees each of us as special; and, if we will just be willing to yield ourselves to Him and His guidance, there is much to be accomplished.
There is story after story in the Bible of God tapping a nondescript person on the shoulder and using them in phenomenal ways. One example is Abram…”God’s presence in Abram’s life does not appear to be based upon any special meritorious qualities that Abram himself might possess, but simply because God chooses him as the man through whom He will bless all of mankind.”*
It is likely that Abram and his people may have been a semi-nomadic group that wandered around searching for the food and water needed for their animals. Then in Genesis 12:1-3 we see God’s plan for this man…”God told Abram: ‘Leave your country, your family, and your father’s home for a land that I will show you. I’ll make you a great nation and bless you. I’ll make you famous; you’ll be a blessing. I’ll bless those who bless you; those who curse you I’ll curse. All the families of the Earth will be blessed through you.’” (The Message)
So then this man that exhibited strong faith by moving to an unknown land disappoints in a grand style. He becomes fearful for his safety instead of trusting God to protect him and all that is his. Because his wife Sarai is a beautiful woman, he decides the Egyptians may want to kill him for her and convinces her to claim to be his sister instead of his wife. Sure enough, the Pharaoh takes Sarai but thanks to God’s intervention she is saved before her honor is sacrificed and they are then sent away. (Genesis 12:10-20) But, Abram did not learn his lesson, because he repeated the exact same lie years later.
But Abram is just the beginning. Consider Moses who became an exiled, insecure coward. When called by God he argued with Him and questioned Him and resisted His plan for his life. But then he eventually lead his people to freedom and was a strong example to millions.
There are so many other examples – Gideon, Jonah, David, Solomon, Joseph – that were the “least of the least”, or strong men that made terrible choices for themselves that impacted others. But eventually they did the work they were selected to do and were recognized as great men of God.
Let us consider Joseph, the father of Jesus. He was young and “just a” simple carpenter. But God picked him to be the man that would care for His son here on earth. Imagine the pressure Joseph must have felt with that responsibility on his shoulders. Then there was Mary – “just a” very young teenage girl that was to give birth to the Savior. They were not socially or politically important people. “Just a” simple man and woman selected to perform God’s will. I am certain they wondered “why me?”
Look at the 12 men Jesus selected to be his inner circle – the men He would entrust to help Him spread the word about God’s love and the way of salvation. There were several of them that were “just a” fisherman, there was one that was “just a” tax collector, one was “just a” zealot (a politically fanatic/rebel.) Among them you have Thomas that doubted what he was told about the resurrection. You have Judas that was not only a thief but a traitor that betrayed Jesus. You have Peter that was one of the closest allies to Jesus that denied him three times in one night. But even with their weaknesses and failures, these men helped to change the world forever!
So, we must never underestimate our value and potential. We may not be selected to do some grand thing that will bring us fame or fortune. But there are so many little things that each of us can do every day that might make a difference in the life of someone else. A smile, a kind word, praying for others, volunteering to help those less fortunate, etc. We need to be open to God wanting to use us in some way – simply because we can perform it and potentially change a life.
Written by Karran Martin – January 5, 2020
*Quote from The Narrated Bible in Chronological Order – N.I.V.” Narration by F. LaGard Smith – page23.