(Post by: Lilly Hobbs)
Have you ever asked yourself the question, “why them” as you read about the lives and stories of individuals that God used powerfully in Scripture? I am not afraid to admit that I have wondered why God uses people such as David, Rahab, Abraham, Rachel, Gideon, and Paul before and to this very day even.
What you may be expecting me to say here is that God used them because they all had their own disastrous messes and sins, and if He used them, then He could surely use us. As almost every pastor I have heard preach on this subject says, “God was not limited by their inconsistencies and used them anyway, because after all, every person is a sinner. He has no perfect men which He has had the opportunity to choose instead.”
Though it is true that God is willing to use us despite our sinful nature, I truly don’t believe that that is the primary reason for why God used them and why He chooses to use us to build His Kingdom today. There is another theme that remains consistent in every story found in Scripture and the stories He is still writing and unfolding before us in this generation.
I think one of the best examples we can glean from (and one that reveals this consistent “theme”) is the story of the women going to visit Jesus’ tomb after He had been crucified.
Matthew 28:1-10 says, “After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; He has risen, just as He said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.” So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” He said. They came to Him, clasped His feet and worshiped Him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
Picture this story in your mind with me, friend. Their Savior, teacher, and friend has just died the most gruesome, painful death, and these women are out of their minds with grief. Imagine they just got of bed, no makeup, hair hasn’t been touched for days look. They don’t know what to do. Because they are emotional wrecks, and they weren’t able to prepare Jesus’ body properly for the grave due to the Passover Sabbath, they are most likely going to the tomb where Jesus’ body was to mourn; hoping that just maybe they can prepare the body as was their custom. Then, there is an earthquake, an angel appears and rolls back the stone covering the entrance to the tomb and tells them that Jesus has been resurrected.
I ask the question, “Why them?” about practically every part of this story.
For one, they are women and, in that time, would have been viewed as lesser than. Yet, Christ makes His glorious resurrection known to them before anyone else, even the eleven disciples. I am confident they are emotional and probably aren’t thinking straight, but surely they could not have forgotten all that Jesus had told them! Perhaps they were wrestling with some doubt and just wanted to be where Jesus was?
Of all people, why them? Why did Jesus choose them?
There is but one, individual answer to this question… Because they were seeking.
A. W. Tozer once said, “The difference between faith as it is found in the New Testament and faith as it is found now is that faith in the New Testament produced something and there was a confirmation of it. Faith now has a beginning and an end. We have faith in faith but nothing happens. They had faith in a risen Christ, something happened, and that is the difference.”
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, the same women who watched the crucifixion, are now sitting against the tomb, just as they had sat against the cross; still longing to express their love and devotion to Christ. Still, they were seeking after Him.
Is this not the state of your heart as well, dear Christian? Though you may be overwhelmed by the state of the world, wars and rumors of wars, sin and death, disappointment after disappointment, does your heart not long to seek the One who holds victory in the palms of His mighty hands?
God does not pick random people to build the Kingdom because He doesn’t have any “perfect” ones to use instead. He chooses to use those who are seeking and long for something more.
May it be said of the Church in our generation that even though they could have walked around defeated, still they were seeking after Him.
“To seek God does not narrow one’s life, rather it brings it to the level of highest possible fulfillment.” (A. W. Tozer)
SO WHAT IS YOUR RESPONSE?
= Have you been feeling weighed down by the world?
= What are you going to do differently?