I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how God is good and how He does so much for me even though I don’t deserve it and don’t know how I can do the things He asks me to do sometimes. I’m working on it every day. Every day he reminds me that His grace is made new every morning. He has more grace for each new day! I see this in my relationships with the boys, in my continuing learning/struggling/stumbling through the Spanish language, in every day living in Central America pretty much!
I was recently reminded about something that I struggled with last year. It was after I had been asked to move to Honduras. I had decided that was the next big thing for me. I felt confident that this was exactly what God wanted me to do next. I was growing in trust with this new direction. And in the process, there were still doubts that I naturally had. I remember a few specific conversations that I had with different folks. I was sharing with them about what I was going to be doing and my plans for Honduras.
And on at least two different occasions, I remember talking to individuals and thinking to myself in the midst of our conversation “Wow, this person would be great in Honduras! They are super athletic. They love soccer. They are just all around creative and are great at fixing things and building things.” Stuff like that. I was thinking about how awesome it would be if these different guys were a part of the academy start up in Honduras because of all of these skills and qualities that they have and I don’t.
Then, every time, in the middle of this thought, I’d suddenly remember “Oh, they aren’t going. I’m the one that’s going. That’s weird!” I saw so many qualities that I perceived them to have and I did not. It would boggle my mind every time. Why was I going and not them? What was I going to do? I didn’t have any great skills like these friends.
And it was something that stumped me. I felt confident that God had called me to this. But I didn’t see any big reason why it was me. This was something that I was praying about for a few weeks when God reminded me of the story of how David was anointed by Samuel in 1 Samuel 16. Just to paraphrase, Samuel was told to go anoint someone else as king to take Saul’s place. He was told that it would be one of the sons of Jesse. He went to Jesse and was show the oldest, most obvious choice first. But after being presented with each of Jesse’s sons, Samuel said that it had to be someone else. And then they brought the youngest, David, whom Jesse hadn’t even bothered to bring in to start with. And this was the one that God told Samuel to anoint. He was the runt of the litter. The one relegated to look after the sheep out in the field. He was the one least expected to be selected.
Here it is in case you need a refresher:
1 Samuel 16: 1-13
1The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.”
2But Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears about it, he will kill me.” The Lord said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ 3Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what to do. You are to anoint for me the one I indicate.”
4Samuel did what the Lord said. When he arrived at Bethlehem, the elders of the town trembled when they met him. They asked, “Do you come in peace?”
5Samuel replied, “Yes, in peace; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves and come to the sacrifice with me.” Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.
6When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.” 7But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
8Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, “The Lord has not chosen this one either.” 9Jesse then had Shammah pass by, but Samuel said, “Nor has the Lord chosen this one.” 10Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these.” 11So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?”
“There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.” Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.”
12So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.”
13So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David. Samuel then went to Ramah.
I love verse 7b: “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” God reminded me of this story and it has given me such encouragement! God isn’t looking at what skills I have or how I may think I should be ‘qualified.’ He’s looking at the heart and at the inward qualities that may not always be obvious. I’m humbled to be here. I’m humbled and want to always keep in mind that I’m here not because of anything special that I can do or anything that I have achieved. I’m here because God wants me here and he sees something that He wants to use in me. I want to always be in a posture of dependence upon God for my abilities and my strength.
And please read this as an encouragement for yourself as well! Just because you think you can’t do something or don’t feel qualified doesn’t mean that you can’t! Ask God what He wants you to do and be open to what you hear because you may hear something you don’t expect or don’t want to hear. I’m here now as because of that. I’m continuing to trust that God’s judgment and plan is better than mine. I want to be obedient and humble to whatever He asks me to do each day. And I challenge you to do the same thing!