"Then the Lord turned to him and said, "Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!"
"But Lord," Gideon replied, "how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!"
The Lord said to him, "I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man." - Judges 6:14-16 (NLT)
This might sound crazy, but Judges is my most favorite book in the Bible. I hear you asking, "Out of all the books of the Bible, why Judges??" I love Judges because it is an account of human failure and a merciful God loving his people even during their sin. As for the story of Gideon, plopped right near the beginning of Judges, he was basically a coward who didn't have enough faith in God to believe that he would succeed. He believed that he was not enough, and that God had made a mistake in choosing him.
A few months back, I remember staring at my resume in disgust. I had put almost two hours of work into it to make it look professional and pretty. But when I printed it out and read it over, a deep sense of embarrassment and depression came over me. How was my resume so ordinary? I spent so long on it, yet the only notable careers I ever had were in minimal wage positions, salons, and a factory. How could I apply for a good paying job in writing and editing with no English degree and no experience? How could I ever get my dream job with a sad, little resume like that?
I walked into my living room depressed, and my husband asked me what was wrong. I dumped my feelings on him. "Why am I so ordinary? God gave me so many great gifts, like music and art and writing, yet how come I can't even make a resume that looks like I've excelled at any of those things? I have no experience. I'm just a nobody." Honestly, I don't remember what my husband, Garett, said back to me, but I do remember reading the story of Gideon only a few days later. I read how God used an extremely ordinary person to accomplish something extraordinary.
The fact is, God uses ordinary people more often than not. He used Joseph, a slave, to save the ancient world from extreme famine. He used Moses, who had a speech impediment, to speak to the nation of Egypt. He used Jael, a housewife, to destroy Commander Sisera, who was oppressing the Israelite people. He used Gideon, a weakling, to become a warrior and deliver Israel from the Midianites. He used David, a shepherd boy, to defeat a giant. He used Jeremiah, a depressed youth, to prophesy to every nation. He used Peter, a fisherman, to grow the modern church... and the list goes on.
You see, it doesn't matter what kind of resume you have. It doesn't matter how much education you went through or how much money you possess. It doesn't matter if you are married, single, have children, or don't have children. It doesn't matter how weak or strong, old or young you are. If God wants to use you, then you are going to be used. Ordinary is a wonderful thing. God loves to show his power through ordinary people. He says in 2 Corinthians 12:9 that "My power works best in weakness." In the same verse, Paul exclaims, "So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me." Notice that Paul doesn't say he is going to ruminate on his weaknesses, or complain about them, or get depressed because of them. No, he says he will boast about them!
I challenge you today to boast about some weaknesses you have, and then thank God that He is so strong, so mighty, so loving, and wants to use you to accomplish many wonderful things for His purpose. I will start: I am uneducated, I have nothing notable I have ever accomplished or written, my resume is pretty awful, I struggle with depression, and I have migraines all the time (in fact, I have one right now!) But in spite of all this, I thank God that He is extremely loving and can and will use me to show how powerful He truly is.
Thank You, God, for loving me in spite of my downfalls and weaknesses. Thank You for Your mercy and Your Son Jesus who died for me on the cross. Use me to accomplish something extraordinary for You in spite of my ordinary self. I love You. In Jesus's name,