There are many reasons why God shouldn’t have called you, but don’t worry, you’re in good company. Moses stuttered. David’s armor didn’t fit. John and Mark was rejected by Paul. Timothy had ulcers. Hosea’s wife was a prostitute. Amos’ only training was in the school of fig-tree pruning. Jacob was a liar. David had an affair. Solomon was too rich. Jesus was too poor. Abraham was too old. David was too young. Peter was afraid of death. Lazarus was dead. John was self-righteous. Naomi was a widow. Paul was a murderer. So was Moses. Jonah ran from God. Miriam was a gossip. Gideon and Thomas both doubted. Jeremiah was depressed and suicidal. Elijah was burned out. John the Baptist was a loudmouth. Martha was a worry-wart. Mary was lazy. Samson had long hair. Noah got drunk. Did I mention that Moses had a short fuse? So did Peter, Paul–well, lots of folks did.
But God doesn’t require a job interview. He doesn’t hire and fire like most bosses, because He’s more our Dad than our Boss. He doesn’t look at financial gain or loss. He’s not prejudiced or partial, not judging, grudging, sassy, or brassy, not deaf to our cry, not blind to our need.
As much as we try, God’s gifts are free. We could do wonderful things for wonderful people and still not be …Wonderful. The adversary says, “You’re not worthy.” Jesus says, “So what? I AM.” The adversary looks back and sees our mistakes. God looks back and sees the cross. He doesn’t calculate what you did in ’78. It’s not even on the record.
Sure, there are lots of reasons why God shouldn’t have called us. But if we are in love with Him, if we hunger for Him more than our next breath, He’ll use us in spite of who we are, where we’ve been, or what we look like. I pray that as Christians, we will step out of our limitations into the illimitable nature of who God is. Then our passion for God and our passion to communicate Him will make mince-meat of our limitations.
Like vine branches, we are not continually laden with fruit. That would be unnatural. For a significant portion of its life, a grapevine is nothing but a dry, twisted stick; fruitless, useless for shade, worthless as timber; to all appearances fit only to be ripped from the ground and reduced to ashes. Yet those barren times are as vital in the life of the vine, as the seasons of fruit.
If spring could tip-toe passed nature without stirring it from its winter slumber; if the sun could slip through the sky without dispelling the night; if rain could fall to the ground without bringing life to the desert – only then should you fear dry times, dark times, lean times. Though you feel as useless as a fur coat in a heat-wave, the time will come when your warmth is treasured. For everything there is a season.