Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

When I was a kid I thought only special people got to do something great with their lives. I thought most people (including me) were ordinary; that we could only do “average” things. That only really remarkable people could do remarkable things because they were destined for it. The rest of us were not.

I wish I could say I lost that kind of thinking when I became an adult, but the truth is sometimes I still think that. Sometimes I wonder if God can do something great through someone like me. If He really knew all my stuff He wouldn’t want to do something with me.

I usually don’t let myself go down this road too long before reminding myself of Gideon:

The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”

“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”

The Lord answered, “I will be with you…” – Judges 6:14-16 (NIV)

Gideon’s story is a great reminder that God likes to use unlikely people.

If I were God and was writing the Bible I would probably have picked people whose lives were less messy. People who had their act “together” and always did what they were told. And people who had a ton of self-confidence.

But God doesn’t work that way. He likes to use unlikely people. People who have a checkered past. People who don’t have their act all together and don’t always do what they’re told. And people who don’t have a lot of self-confidence.

Abraham doubted God could give Him kids.

Moses didn’t think he was a good speaker.

David’s own dad didn’t think he would ever have what it would take to be king.

Peter didn’t even want Jesus to look at Him.

Paul used to kill Christians.

It’s good to remember the stories of great people because, like us, they didn’t always think they had what it took. And the truth is without God they don’t and we don’t. But with God we can do great things because we don’t have to be great to do something great.

* * *

When was a time you doubted your worth or God’s ability to use you to do something great?

Who do you know that feels that way about themselves right now? How can you help them see that God likes to use unlikely people?


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