• Kate Clinton

The Imperfect Headliners in the Bible

I have found an interesting reoccurring theme in the Bible that surprised me. When I would think of people that made it in as headliners for the Bible, I thought of them as holy, perfect and always doing the right thing. When we hear stories from the Bible as young children, they are often focused on what those people did right and we are left wondering, how do these stories and people relate to me? As I have been studying the Word of God more in depth, I am seeing these people are as human as you and me. More times than not, they were afraid. They often chose the wrong path. They tried to convince God that their plan was better than His. Story after story tells of ordinary people being used by an extraordinary God. They were not special people. They were like us. But God used them anyway.

In John 11, Mary and Martha called for Jesus to come when Lazarus was sick, but still alive. He chose to wait. When He arrived four days later to raise Lazarus from the dead, the women tried to tell Him that he was too late and Lazarus was too smelly. Jesus didn't listen. He called Lazarus out of his tomb and Lazarus strolled right on out. Alive as can be. Which plan had more impact? Which plan showed the power of God? Mary and Martha wanted Lazarus healed. Jesus's plan brought Lazarus back from the dead.
In Matthew 16, Jesus tells His disciples that He must be killed and would be raised again on the third day. Peter actually questioned Jesus in verse 22, telling Him “That will never happen to you!” Thank God Jesus didn't listen to Peter.
In Matthew 17, Jesus is transfigured on the high mountain, speaking with Moses and Elijah. In verse 4, Peter tells Jesus, “If you want, I will put three tents here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” If Jesus would have listened to Peter, He would have been safely camping on a mountain.
In Mark 6:30-52, Jesus had done numerous miracles and wanted to feed the hungry crowd. His disciples told Jesus to send the people to town to buy their own food. Jesus didn't listen and feed 5,000 with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish.
In Exodus 3 and 4, Moses gives excuse after excuse why he can't be used by God to bring the children out of Egypt. He told God he was slow in speech and tongue. He asked God to send someone else. He was worried the people would not believe Him. But in the end, Moses listened to God and was used by Him to do great miracles and lead those children right out of Egypt. Remember the parting of the Red Sea?
Oh, how many times we have tried to convince God that our plan is best. It's comfortable. It feels right. And when we go our own way, we feel pain we don't want. We question God's goodness. But if we seek Him and His plans for us, He will lead us through doors we never even thought about trying to go through. To a place we didn't even dream about. Trials will still come. It may take longer than we want. But if God is leading the way He will get us where we need to be. God's plans are always good. Even if they don't feel that way. Trust Him that He knows best. Talk with Him to see if you are on the right path. Open your ears to hear where He might be sending you. Soften your heart so you can feel His love and direction. And be comforted, like I have been, that God used ordinary people to do extraordinary things. And He still does. If we are willing.
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