By Roger Kruse
One of my favorite sayings is that “God uses ordinary people”. Often, we discount the idea that we could be useful in God’s service. We feel unworthy, inadequate, and not up to the task He might ask us to do. We mistakenly believe that a person God uses must be very nearly perfect. However, when we look at the many different characters described in the Bible, one thing is clear. Humanness, with all its many frailties and foibles, was on full display. Weaknesses, personal failures, fears, and excuses were in abundance. Nevertheless, the Lord was pleased to use imperfect people to accomplish His divine purposes.
Moses was convinced that God had the wrong man. His doubts were only exceeded by his number of excuses. Finally, he just said, “O Lord, please send someone else to do it.” Gideon responded to God’s call by asking “How can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” The strong man Samson repeatedly allowed his attraction to the wrong woman to become his stumbling stone. Despite his parents’ efforts to nurture him in godly wisdom, he strayed from the right path. In the New Testament, the apostle Peter, often said and did things that were not well thought out. Jesus had to rebuke him and teach him that his weaknesses and failures could become a stepping stone to better things. That’s an important lesson for us all. Your imperfections need not disqualify you. Don’t allow self-doubt to plague your thinking and undermine what God wants to do in and through your life.
As we once again remember the Christmas story, we recognize that both Mary and Joseph were ordinary persons chosen for an extraordinary task. Mary was astonished that God selected her to give birth to the holy Son of God. She was genuinely perplexed by the angel’s message to her. Yet she made herself available and let her faith lead the way by obedience to God. When Joseph found out his fiancé Mary was pregnant, he made plans to quietly end their engagement. He knew that he was not the father. However, after the Lord appeared to him in a dream explaining Mary’s unique circumstances, he obeyed and took Mary to be his wife. God delights to use ordinary people because it clearly shows the world what He can do!
That is not to say that our personal character does not matter. God certainly uses ordinary people, but He also cleanses, prepares and equips them for His service. Each of us is a potential instrument in God’s hands. If we want to be useful to Him, first we need to avail ourselves of His cleansing touch. Forgiveness is not something we can earn or accomplish with our own efforts. It is God’s gift to you. That was the whole point of Christmas. The Lord told Joseph that the baby that Mary would give birth to would be named Jesus, because He would save His people from their sins. The angel announced to the shepherds as they kept watch over their flocks, that a Savior had been born. It was “good news of great joy for all the people.” Why? Because the Baby in a manger would one day be nailed to a Cross as the perfect sacrifice for our sins. The greatest Christmas gift you could ever receive or share is simply, Jesus. Let every heart prepare Him room!
Christmas is a wonderful time to celebrate God’s love for the whole world. Yet, the Lord knows each of us by name and has the very hairs on your head numbered. No wonder the Bible tells us to “give all your worries and cares to God, because he cares about you.”
Roger Kruse serves with One Mission Society
as an International Shepherd/Trainer to South
East Asia. He, his wife Glenda and family love
the rural lifestyle of the Middlefield area.