“But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence.”
I was at a meeting of a Clinical Pastoral Education class that included seven pastors. Today was the day that we heard all our stories. It is the first day. I was again impressed at hearing the stories of other pastors. Of the seven of us, five had gone through life experiences that are terrible. There is no other word to describe those experiences. The murder of your father. PTSD from serving in war. Orphanage and foster home. Being shot at and surviving. I could go on, but you get the idea. There was more than enough pain to be shared. There was more than enough suffering.
And yet … and yet … and yet.
Each and every pastor had a story of how God reached out to them. Each and every one of us knew that God was calling us, precisely in the midst of our worst suffering, that God was saying that he wanted us. It reinforces again to me how God is so willing to use those whom society would not hire for a job, would never allow to teach an adult Sunday School, etc. Yet, by the time congregations see some of us, God has cleaned us up. By the time the congregation thinks that we are the pastors they want, we no longer behave like the people we were because God has touched us. It is a testimony to how God has changed us.
And it brought to mind, yet again, how God has chosen the weak things, the foolish things, the base things and the things which are despised. He chooses Hobbits and damaged goods. And he shows what it truly means to be changed into the likeness of God. And, darkness is kept at bay. Thank you, Lord.