It would be natural to think that someone so supremely important as the Lord God Almighty would only choose the most important, most educated, most confident people to act and speak on his behalf. This would make a lot of sense to you and me.
However, as you read the Bible you realise that over and over again, God selects the least confident, the least socially acceptable, and the least among many to work for him; and God expects these unremarkable people to perform some of the most important tasks on his behalf.
Age is not a barrier to being useful to God: Abraham was 100 years old, and his wife Sarah was 90 years old when God gave them a son, making Abraham the father of a great nation. (Genesis chapter 21 verse 5)
Joseph was spoilt by his father, and he was abused by his jealous brothers. Joseph's brothers conspired to kill him, but changed their mind and sold him into slavery. Despite this, Joseph prospered in his new home in Egypt, and he was essential in God's plan for the survival of the Israelites. (Genesis chapter 37 verse 18)
Being adopted was not a disadvantage for Moses. (Exodus chapter 2 verse 10) And Moses was not a confident speaker, claiming to be slow of speech and tongue, reasoning with God that he couldn't lead the people, or speak on God's behalf to the king of Egypt; but God used Moses to deliver his messages and lead his people out of slavery, all the way to the edge of the Promised Land. (Exodus chapter 4 verse 10)
Rahab was a prostitute, but she was essential to God's plan for the capture of the city of Jericho, which resulted in God's chosen people inheriting the Promised Land. (Joshua chapter 2)
King Saul ridiculed David because he was just a boy, the youngest of eight brothers. David had offered to go and fight the enemy's giant warrior, Goliath; despite Saul's doubts, David killed Goliath and eventually became a great king of Israel. (1 Samuel chapter 17 verse 33)
Paul was chosen by God to be an apostle and a very important educator in the early church. But Paul had been an enemy of Christians, actively hunting and persecuting them; Paul even admits to standing by and approving the stoning to death of an active Christian called Stephen. (Acts chapter 22 verse 20)
There are lots of examples of God using the least likely people to say and do important things on his behalf.
You don't need to be a clever or well-educated person.
You don't need to have a deep theological understanding of the Bible.
You don't need to be a highly respected citizen of the community or an upstanding leader in a church organization.
'It's in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.' (Ephesians chapter 1 verses 11 and 12 - MSG)
When the Son of God came to earth and was born in human form, he was not born into a palace; Jesus was born into the most humble and particularly vulnerable circumstances; and he was adopted by a carpenter tradesman who was pledged in marriage to Jesus' mother.
And when Jesus Christ was recruiting his disciples, he didn't go to the temple to select the respectable and knowledgeable leaders: Jesus Christ chose ordinary unremarkable people, like you and me.
'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, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: "Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord." (1 Corinthians chapter 1 from verse 26 - NIV)
You may not feel special or important, but as a Christian it is very possible that God may already have a plan that requires your assistance. It might be something big, or it might be something small; but whatever it is, if it is God's plan, it will be important, because you are important to God.
An extract from Bible Nuts & Bolts by by Brian Bailie, who lives between Strangford Lough and the Irish Sea on the Ards Peninsula of County Down, an area of outstanding natural beauty; his eclectic career includes farming, engineering, commercial art, and product design, work which has taken him all over the world, including several years working in industrial East Coast China. For more information see www.broncle.com