This phrase has been ringing through my head for a while, now. I forget how it was first brought to memory, but
did you know???…
…it is likely that I am an unlikely hero! It’s true!
And it is likely that you are an unlikely hero!
And it is likely that your newspaper deliverer who seems relatively unimportant (and somehow manages to knock down both of your front porch flower pots), is an unlikely hero.
Why? Because it’s unlikely.
God is into the business of overcoming.
He’s into the business of making us OVERCOMERS!
And He has GREAT job security!
Something I heard the other day that has stuck with me is this phrase:
God LOVES a comeback story!
It’s so true!
- Who was he to the world?
…the youngest of his brothers, a shepherd boy who is sent out into the fields to take care of the sheep…
- Who was he to God?
….a skilled musician who plays amazing music so a King who is going looney can be sane again (not to mention someone who humbly resists KILLING the King when the King is hunting David down to kill HIM!)
….a great warrior – who even as a youth, had greater status than men in the army because of his bold courage and faith in God to give him victory over a literal GIANT!
….a heck of a worshipper – give the guy props! He danced til’ his clothes came off! (Either he wasn’t wearing skinny jeans and he needed a belt OR he was giving God glory by dancing until his clothes came off! What a worshipper! What a great spirit of gratefulness, joy, and overflowing humility to have for the Lord!)
….a King! Even though David lusted, slept with a woman, and killed his baby mama’s husband, God entrusted David to be King over an entire nation! God trusted David probably more than David trusted himself! God knew David’s true heart. God looks at the heart, not the man.
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7
Often times, we focus on the “heroic” stories of people in the Bible. David and Goliath. Moses and the Red Sea. Joseph and his brothers. Paul and his missionary journeys.
We don’t look at the whole picture. We just look at the end of the story – the “success” stories – the Americanized version – short, sweet, and emotionally stirring.
We don’t look at the whole process. GOD WANTS US TO SEE THE WHOLE PROCESS! Why? Because, in the process we see how those who messed up (not the ‘mess-ups’, but those who messed up) were still given responsibility and blessing from God.
David is a hero. Yet he lusted after a woman, saw her on a roof, got her pregnant, then killed her husband. The baby ended up dying. True story. -> He became a King.
Moses was born at a time when every other little boy was being hunted down and killed. He was adopted by one of the richest people in his region, the Pharoah’s daughter, because his sister, Miriam had the guts to put him in a basket in the reeds near a river. Do you realize he would have been a nobody?! Because he was adopted by royalty (totally and completely a work of God) he lived! He did amazing things, but along the way, he messed up. Do you recall the story of him killing another guy? He let the anger get the best of him. He took it out on a human being instead of letting God have His vengeance. What did God do with Moses, though? -> He had Moses lead His people, the Israelites, out of captivity (slavery) toward the promised land! And, along the way he did a lot of cool things, too! ….saw a burning bush, parted the red sea, turned sticks into snaked and back into sticks again….all in a life’s work (ha! …only in the life of an unlikely hero!)
Joseph. A guy who ends up ruling a great number of people in a time of famine and trouble. Joseph started out as a youngin’ compared to his older brothers. He got a sweet coat from his dad, got cocky about it, and his brothers got mad and Joseph ended up being trafficked – sold to others who were traveling to another location. He got locked up, even though he acted justly. However, eventually God took Him up in stature and status (in the eyes of the world) to show the world how God viewed Joseph. He ended up being able to show forgiveness to his brothers, restore their family’s relationships, provide (land, food, stability) for his family, AND rule over the people. Good story?! Yea! But, we need to get the whole picture! It wasn’t just a ride up an elevator and a step out onto the high platform to rule. Joseph climbed and fell, was loyal, yet dropped by people. He was dropped by people multiple times. Yet, he was faithful. I love the story of Joseph. God loved Him, and God was faithful; but Joseph had to wait for God’s timing. And, God did take Him up in status in the eyes of the world.
Paul. the amazing missionary who we Christians tend to marvel at because of the persecutions he endured, the miracles that happened, and the wisdom he shares with us in much of the New Testament. However – do we remember where he came from!?! He used to be a persecutor of the Jews! He killed Jesus’ people! Do we see where he came from? God chose Paul BECAUSE he was an unlikely hero!
God chose Moses, because who else would choose a baby boy who is being hunted down to be killed at birth?
Who else would choose Joseph – a young man who is only the youngest of his brothers and has a cool coat he brags about?
Who would choose David – a young shepherd boy, also the youngest of his brothers, who isn’t even thought of to be “put in line” by his father to be chosen as the future anointed King?
Nobody except God would choose these weaklings!
That’s because God LOVES a good comeback story!
He chooses unlikely heroes.
You are an unlikely hero.
I am an unlikely hero.
9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. – 1 Peter 2:9 – 10