Have you ever noticed that the history of Christianity is a history of people who have no business doing great things but end up changing the world? Even a casual read of the Bible makes this a striking theme. Jesus himself came from a humble background. I don’t know about you, but if I were God I’d want to pick an important city and a powerful family. I mean, doesn’t that make more sense? Not, of course, if God’s message was one of service, compassion, and love.
God has this way of using people we don’t expect. Virtually every important story in the Bible has a woman who plays a key role. Moses never would have survived without a woman’s protection. Mary gave birth to Jesus. Women were the first ones to discover Jesus rose from the dead. The role those women played would have been shocking for that culture.
That’s what God does though. He takes what we consider weak or worthless, and turns it into something amazing and wonderful. A great example of this occurs with Joseph, who is sold into slavery by his brothers. Talk about family rivalry! And yet God turns that situation around by putting Joseph into a position to not only save his family from a famine, but to save all of Israel!
That’s all well and good. Because those were all worthy people…aren’t they? Moses was a great leader. Mary was good enough to be chosen to give birth to God. Joseph didn’t do anything that deserved getting sold into slavery. But sometimes we think, “look at what I’ve done! I don’t deserve any of that!”
But it doesn’t matter. No matter what we’ve done, God can still use us if we let him. Take Paul for instance, here was a guy who went out and actively hunted down Christians. And yet when he met God, God radically transformed his life. Paul suddenly became one of the greatest evangelists Christianity has ever known.
He did the same for David, forgiving him for his adultery and murder. However God didn’t simply forgive David, he went on to establish one of the greatest kingdoms in Israel’s history. And it was David’s family line that ultimately lead to the birth of Jesus. God used both Paul and David in amazing ways, despite their flaws.
So what does all of this mean?
What it means to me is that God is really amazing! It shows that he has compassion and mercy. It proves that we have hope, because no matter what we’ve done, God not only loves us but wants to use us to change the world. There is not a person alive who can’t shape the world if they let God work through them.
When you think about that, how can you feel anything but hope and excitement?