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  • Writer's pictureApril Knapp

Hope For When You Feel Useless

You desire to be God’s hands and feet to the world, but find yourself paralyzed by fear or guilt. You long to glorify God and build His Kingdom, but you find your soul drowning in your expectations of yourself. Deep in the quiet spaces of your soul, a fear cries, “How could he ever use ME? WHY would He ever use me, of all the people in the universe? I am too dirty. Too scared. I’m not smart enough, good enough, clean enough. My faith is too small.

But God uses those we least expect.

Mary Ellen* was one of the hardest women I’ve ever discipled. Doubts filled her scientific brain and she continuously argued with me about scripture. She was a new believer, but expressed that she was often unsure that she believed anything at all. She was rough around the edges, according to our churchy “good Christian” standards, but boy, did she love Jesus. Even in her doubt, Mary Ellen non-apologetically and passionately shared Jesus with her co-workers. She knew he loved her lavishly and she was not afraid to share him with the world. No one expected the doubter to have the faith to move mountains.

But God uses those we least expect.

In a country where sharing the gospel is illegal, my friend shared the gospel with her friend. Her friend did not put her faith in Jesus that day. It was the first time she heard about Jesus and could not wrap her mind around faith. However, a few days later, she was in class when a teacher asked if anyone was familiar with Christianity. This girl stood up and articulated clearly to her entire class about how Jesus came to earth to save the world from our sins. An entire class of unreached people heard the gospel from someone who couldn’t believe in Jesus herself.

But God uses those we least expect.

A Samaritan women went to fill her water jug at the town well. She went during the hottest hour of the day to avoid the other women. She was a sinner and needed no scarlet letter affixed to her breast; everyone knew who she was and what she’d done. She was an outcast and even worse, a Samaritan-a person whom the Jewish people detested. But, Jesus saw her hurting heart and he spoke directly to her, which was shocking for that culture and time. Not only was he a man speaking to a woman, but a Jew speaking to a Samaritan. It was unheard of. He revealed salvation to her and she, knowing her shame was gone, left her water jug at the well. She ran to tell others about Jesus and many believed in Him because of her testimony (John 4). She was considered the dirtiest women in town.

But God uses those we least expect.

When Jesus came to rescue the entire world from our insurmountable sin, he fulfilled hundreds of seemingly impossible Old Testament prophecies. And still, many Old Testament scholars missed him. There was no way he could be the Messiah they were expecting. He came as a humble, poor carpenter baby who willingly handed himself over to be crucified by the detestable Romans. Where was the mighty political revolutionary, riding in to rescue them from political oppression and make them kings?

God is who we least expected. Perhaps our expectations are too small.

*Not her real name

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