When I was in high school I always wanted to be involved in student activities. I wanted to be a sports star. I was a fan of baseball and football. I watched plenty of it on TV, but the reality was I was not gifted in athletics. It was a dream to play a varsity sport, but I just didn’t have the necessary physical skill. That didn’t bother me so much because I knew that in advance. But there were other student activities. There was student council, student clubs, office aides, and library aides. None of these really interested me. I dreamt of being an athlete. I wanted to be on the field with the crowds cheering. I wanted that validation that I was somebody. Our high school was very large. There were 715 students in the senior class when I graduated. Those other student activities didn’t excite me. I thought that there was no way I could fit in with the people that already had positions and served in these activities. They were “Brainiacs”. They appeared far smarter than me. Their skill and intelligence intimidated me.
Here is my point. I was scared to be in a student activity that was not part of a team. In a large school, the athletic teams were huge. The football team included over 100 young men. I figured if I could participate on that team, I could get lost in the crowd in case I made a mistake or did something wrong. It was a team sport. We all would share in the good and the bad. Being a student admin would put me out front by myself.
Well, God has a way of using less qualified people to serve for His purpose. Or better yet, God worked in my student life to show me that His plan was not what I thought. I didn’t have a relationship with God while in high school. I was pretty quiet. Just did what I was told. I had my circle of friends, but I wasn’t very recognizable.
Opportunities began to open up in a young man student club called Key Club. I looked from the outside and thought that these guys again were too smart for their own “britches”. I thought for sure I couldn’t fit in. Until one of my friends, Paul, asked me if I would like to come to the next Key Club meeting. I thought why not. I attended and liked it. I found out this group was very active in the school and the community. I enjoyed helping others. I enjoyed working with outside organizations to reach the less fortunate in my community. I was happy. Well, soon I was finding myself in the Key Club leadership and after 1 year was elected Key Club President and served two years.
God called me into an activity even though I didn’t know it. God created me and shaped me with a purpose. God has things planned for us that we don’t always know but we can be assured it is for our good and His glory.
I had a lot of failures in my high school years. I didn’t live a life at times that anyone would say was good. “If you knew me, you wouldn’t like me” is something that I would say. Though I found success in student activities that wasn’t the life I was leading.
The Bible tells us in Exodus that Moses also felt unqualified when God spoke to him from a burning bush. God called Moses to deliver the Israelites from 400 years of slavery. Moses had some failures. He killed an Egyptian soldier who was mistreating one of the Hebrew slaves. He took matter into his own hands. But Moses was part of the royal family. How could he do that? Moses fled to the wilderness. (Exodus Chapters 3 & 4)
Had Moses’ failure disqualified him from being used by God? Absolutely not! The parting of the Red Sea is pretty spectacular! Failure is not a disqualification to be used by God. I too thought my failures outweighed my abilities. I was quiet and just did what I was told. I couldn’t play varsity sports because of my physical inabilities. My dream was shattered. I thought I wasn’t smart enough for the student clubs. These fears were real to me. But thanks be to God, His plan was in fact to use me in life to impact others in a far greater way than I could’ve imagined.
God had His hand on me when I didn’t even know it. Looking back to my high school years, I see a very quiet and defeated young man being used to touch other’s lives. What? That doesn’t make any sense. In the world’s view, it doesn’t. From a heavenly perspective it makes perfect sense. It was always God’s eternal plan. It was God’s incredible Mercy.
The Apostle Paul explains this very clearly. Paul wrote, “Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are” (1 Corinthians 1:26-28 NIV)
So what’s the secret to being used by God? I had no idea what it was. But I have learned some things along the way.
- It’s all about God’s Mercy. Mercy is undeserved forgiveness and unearned kindness.
- I don’t have to prove my worth. It’s God’s plan. It will be fulfilled. God says in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
- I don’t have to sit and wallow in my mistakes. We all make mistakes. Because of God’s Mercy, I know I can move on.
- I must be real. I have to be myself. I can dream but need to realize that maybe my dream is not God’s dream for my life. It simply may not match who God created me to be.
- It’s NOT about me. “Me. Me. Me” is pride. The Apostle Paul said that the message was not about him, but rather Jesus Christ.
(2 Corinthians 4:5)
- Use my plan to help others. That is exactly what God did.
- Stay focused on eternity. I must remain usable to God.
Friends, God continues to lead me in His eternal plan. I have been used to lead ministries, to speak to large groups about Jesus, to touch a community both here and abroad, and to be a part of impacting lives for Jesus. Who knew that it all began with the quiet kid in high school? God can use anybody. My mistakes and failures didn’t disqualify me, rather they were equipping me when I didn’t even know it.
If you want to hear a tremendous and impactful message by Pastor Aaron Taylor on The Miracle of Mercy – God Can Use Anybody, click on the podcast below.
God didn’t want me to lead our high school football team to victory. He had better plans. Which is good because I would have had a hard time beating Tom Brady in the Super Bowl. He’s pretty good. 😉
Have a great rest of the week!