God Chooses the Improbable

"You did not choose me, but I chose you..."John 15:16a

I know what you're thinking: "God chooses others, but not me."

You think it's because of your secret, don't you? The awful thing in your past — that abortion or that affair; your divorce; the rape; the sexual abuse; the shameful business failure; your drug usage; alcoholism; criminal past. etc. Like the clumsy, nearsighted child no one picks for playground sports, you want God's favor, His grace, but it seems beyond your wildest dreams. It's not.The poem "The Chosen Vessel" tells how God picks a vessel to use: "Take me," cried the gold one. "I'm shiny and bright,"I'm of great value and I do things just right." But God passes by the gold, silver, brass, crystal, and wooden urns, and chooses the vessel of clay. The poem explains why:

Then the Master looked down and saw a vessel of clay.
Empty and broken, it helplessly lay.

No hope had the vessel that the Master might choose,
to cleanse and make whole, to fill and to use.
"Ah! This is the vessel I've been hoping to find,
I will mend and use it and make it all mine."

For many of you, the impact of your mistakes or the sins committed against you is so profound that it has shattered every ounce of your identity. Perhaps you have struggled with criminal behavior, drug addiction, alcoholism, prostitution, psychic disorders, and suicide. Some of you chose sexually and physically abusive partners; others of you chose chemically dependent partners. I am one of you. For nearly forty years I lived with anger, low self-esteem, anxiety, fear, hopelessness, and depression as I repressed the pain of a childhood filled with physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. Like some of you, I disassociated from the original cause of my anger and helplessness and found expression in destructive acts against others and myself. I
tried to fix everything on my own. And I failed.

At the lowest point in my life, I called out to God. He heard me. I'm living proof that it doesn't matter who we were yesterday, or what we did: God wants to do something with our lives today. God never changes. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. His plan to save us from our own disasters is permanent and everlasting. Throughout the ages, from 2000 B.C. through today, God continually chooses to heal and transform the most improbable candidates.Why would God use such improbable people? I believe it is because the Lord wants to make clear that the power lies in him, not in us. And when people observe such drastic change in our broken lives, their eyes turn heavenward.

The last verse of "The Chosen Vessel" reads:

Then gently He lifted the vessel of clay.
Mended and cleansed it and filled it that day.
Spoke to it kindly, "There's work you must do,
Just pour out to others as I pour into you."

The message is simple but profound: In Jesus, we can be mended and set free. Hope is available to all through Jesus. I'm living proof..We all need a hand to hold, especially when walking through dark valleys. Hold on to God's as you face the past with honesty and a desire to heal.

In the deepest, darkest, most unreachable area of our lives, we are not alone. God sees us, hears, and knows our every past experience; He knows what we will experience in the future. The moment we call on the name of Jesus, He reaches down, and grasps our hands to lead us through our healing journeys. Like the clay vessel, God chose us. He chose us to be set free. Will you accept His invitation?

~ * ~

Copyright by Jan Coates. All rights reserved.
Used by permission. Jan Coates is an author, speaker, consultant,
founder of Set Free Today Ministries
and serves on the Advisory Council of Christians in Recovery®.

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