I have no idea why God picked me.
I’ve never felt like anyone’s first choice; ever since I was little. And a lot of people have reinforced that feeling over the years.
And, worse, I’ve agreed with them! Do you remember the Seinfeld episode where George Kostanza said he didn’t want to be a part of any club that would let him in? That about sums up how I’ve viewed myself most of my life.
Even as a Christian, I have often felt like God’s red-headed stepchild; you know, the one that took ten-plus years after being saved to realize that maybe getting drunk occasionally and dating men I knew I didn’t have a future with probably wasn’t ever going to work out well for me.
Even now, I sometimes have impostor syndrome, because I know just how ungodly my heart is: so much more often than I care to admit.
Guys. I am such a mess. I will never have it all together. And I still say a bad word when I spill coffee all over the couch.
God did choose me.
And as painfully slow as my progress has been at times, he’s been changing my heart ever since he first whispered those two words to my heart: “Follow me.”
The evidence of the Holy Spirit is not perfection; it’s not a muted picture of a saint with a creepy smile and a glowy halo; it’s the evolution of a real, broken, flesh and blood person totally at home in sin and depravity towards holiness; even if that holiness starts simply with a distaste for the things of this world and a seemingly impossible desire to live in obedience to God.
I am encouraged to find myself in good? company with the Apostle Paul, a man who once persecuted Christians ruthlessly and relentlessly; a man who (once convinced Jesus was God) gave up everything he had in order to know Christ and make him known. Paul says in Romans 7:
“So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. I have discovered this principle of life-that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.” -Romans 7:14-25
Yes, Paul! Can I get a high-five and an amen on that one? Body of death, indeed. The struggle is real. It was real then and it’s real now.
So, is there any hope for Christians to just stop sinning? Well, not completely. Not this side of heaven. But God’s people struggle against their sin. And a lot of the time? They succeed!
“Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it?” -Romans 6:1-2
Even though we will always struggle with sin, the mark of a believer is the inability to stay there!
God helps us overcome our sin because the life he has for us is so much better. Some people take a bit longer than others to move forward, but if the Holy Spirit is in us, we will be able to look back and see just how far we’ve come. The sin we once lived in is now unthinkable. And now, God is helping us with the thing we currently struggle with. It will always be something!
I still can’t fathom God choosing me, but I can see the woman he has grown me to be: a woman that’s brave enough to let go of approval and “fitting in” when it means being unfaithful to God’s truth. A woman with a heart that desires to please him, even though she falls on her face a lot. A woman whose brokenness God has redeemed and transformed into a beautiful life. A woman that can (miraculously) accept love from a husband who chooses her every day with his kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, patience, and so forth. A woman who knows deep down in her soul she is loved also by the One who existed before the foundation of the earth. A woman who still doesn’t have it all together.
I don’t know why God chose me, but this verse seems to fit:
“But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength. Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God. God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the LORD .” -1 Corinthians 1:24-31
I’m not worthy.
But he chose me anyway.