Sometimes it feels like everyone else has a special talent or gift. I don’t feel like I’m good at anything. And I just feel like all the other girls at school are so pretty. Why would God make me this way?
I wish I could tell you that I have this one down and that I hold my head high and ONLY care about what God thinks. But the truth is that I DO care a lot about what other people think. I mean, we want to look a certain way, be in the right group, and say the right things. And sometimes that goes well for us, but other times it just… doesn’t.
I remember being in school and having recess. I loved recess. Now, the only part about those games is that most of them take teams. And how do we usually pick teams? Team captains. Being team captain was awesome. You get to pick your friends and the really good players. But any time you played and it wasn’t your best friend as the captain, or it was a sport you weren’t really good at… bad news, right?
You watch as everyone starts calling out names: You just cross your fingers and hope. Please oh please let my name be called next! I’ll be better than last time. I promise! And still you weren’t called. Who wants to be picked last? Not me. Not most of us. It’s hard when it feels like everyone is judging you based on how you look. Most people really care about the outside. And that even includes people who really love God… like His prophets.
There was a prophet of God named Samuel. God actually came to Samuel and said that he was supposed to go and pick the next King of Israel. We can find that story in 1 Samuel Chapter 16. God told him to go to the city of Bethlehem and to find a man named Jesse. When Samuel came to Bethlehem he found Jesse and learned that he had 8 sons. Samuel told Jesse that he wanted to worship God together with all of his sons and then eat a meal together. That sounded like a good idea, so Jesse called all of his sons together… or at least most of them.
So Jesse comes back to meet up with Samuel and his first son walks in and Samuel thinks to himself “This has got to be the new King! Just look at this guy! He’s huge!”
But God told Samuel, “Looks aren’t everything. You can’t just be impressed by the outside. This is not the guy I’ve picked to be king. Men looks at the outside, but God looks on the inside…I look into their hearts.” So, Eliab, the first son turns out to not be the King, but Samuel didn’t have time to worry, because Jesse’s next son, Abinadab showed up to be introduced. Even though Abinadab was handsome, Samuel knew that Abinadab wasn’t God’s choice for King either.
This went on and on with the next five sons of Jesse. They were strong, warriors, smart, and even fun to be around. But God did not choose any of these seven sons of Jesse.
Samuel turned to Jesse and said, “Don’t you have any other sons?” Jesse did have another son, but he was so young and inexperienced that they hadn’t even told him about the dinner. David, the youngest, was out taking care of the family sheep.
The other sons of Jesse must have been pretty surprised to hear that Samuel wanted to meet the runt of the family who was just a shepherd boy. Everyone was getting pretty hungry, but Samuel told them they weren’t moving or eating until someone sent for David.
Samuel had all these ideas about what a king should look like or even act like, but God wanted him to look at the inside. The important thing to remember about this story is that even though everyone expected Samuel to pick people based on their looks…their appearance, God wanted him to look at the heart.
Check out 1 Samuel 16:12-13. “Jesse sent for him. He was brought in… God said, “Up on your feet! Anoint him! This is the one.”
Samuel took his flask of oil and anointed him, with his brothers standing around watching. The Spirit of God entered David like a rush of wind, God vitally empowering him for the rest of his life.”
When Samuel came to choose the next king of Israel he thought he would pick the biggest son of Jesse. He then thought he would choose the athlete, or the guy who dressed like a king. But God had something else in mind. “Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart.” Jesse’s youngest son, David, was out tending sheep. He hadn’t been brought in to meet Samuel with the rest of his brothers. David probably felt left out… maybe even purposeless.
David was Samuel’s last pick, but he wasn’t God’s last pick. God chose David out of all of Jesse’s sons, out of all the men of Israel, to be KING! God picked the right man for the job.
Even more amazing, God has chosen US to do mighty things for Him. The Bible says that even before your mom knew she was going to have you, God picked you. God loves you just the way you are and has amazing things in store for your life. I know that it’s hard to remember that when you are feeling low – but that’s when you have to hold onto what is true! Yesterday I mentioned part of Psalm 139 and how God thinks precious thoughts about us. That’s the truth that matters! I’m not going to be perfect. I’m going to have bad hair days. I’m going to have days when I wish I could look totally differently, but that’s when I have to remember to fill back up on God’s Word! Today I want to close with another verse from Psalm 139 that totally helps me in this department. Check out verses 13-16 and soak up the good stuff!
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
He made you. He loves you.