The words of Amos, who was among the shepherds of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel…Amos 1:1 (ESV)
Amos was a shepherd. He watched and took care of sheep–smelly, dirty, literally stupid sheep. He probably spent a lot of time outside. Probably was dirty and smelly like the animals he watched. Very likely was poor, maybe looked down on or ignored.
And God used him.
God chose Amos to be a prophet. To relay His words to the people of Israel (and to us). God decided to speak to him, to speak to His people through him.
And God does stuff like that over and over.
For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.1 Corinthians 1:26-29 (ESV)
God uses the foolish, the weak, the low, the despised, the “things that are not.” Why? So that people can’t say it was them; they can’t boast that they did it, it was all up to them, etc. The glory, the praise, has to be given to God.
He uses the misfits. The scarred. The weak. The looked-down-on. The ignored. The unnoticed. The laughed-at. The worthless. The normal, ordinary, and average.
And He doesn’t use them because “Oh, no one else is available or willing,” doesn’t look at them and go “Eh, I guess you’ll do.” No, He looks at them and says, “You’re exactly the one I want for this.”
So why do we so often think that He won’t use us? Why do we believe we will never be able to do anything great for God, never be a canvas for His miracle-working power, never have His greatness shown through our lives? Why do we say we’re “not right for the job” or “won’t ever do that” or “that won’t happen in my life”?
Somebody defined a miracle as an invasion of the ordinary. We’re ordinary, right? We live normal lives (if there is such a thing as normal. But that’s a topic for another time). So why wouldn’t God “invade” our lives? Work a miracle through or in us?
God used a shepherd to bring His message to His people. He used a shepherd-boy to kill a giant, fight the Philistines, and be the king of Israel, plus write most of the longest book in the Bible. He used a carpenter and a young woman from Nazareth to raise God-in-the-flesh. He used twelve ordinary men–some fishermen, one a tax collector–to follow Jesus and spread the news of the Gospel and lead many to Him.
Did they deserve to be used? Did anyone, including them, expect them to be used? No. . . but they were.
Do we deserve to be used? No. Does anyone, including ourselves, expect us to be used? Probably not. . . but that doesn’t mean we won’t be. 🙂
… The pages of history they tell me it’s trueMatthew West, “Broken Things”
That it’s never the perfect, it’s always the ones with the scars that You use
It’s the rebels and the prodigals; it’s the humble and the weak
All the misfit heroes You chose
Tell me there’s hope for sinners like me …