The elderly. Children. Teenagers. Lepers. The paralyzed. The wealthy. The poor. Magicians. Entertainers. Kings. Queens. Slaves. Slave owners. Lawyers. Criminals. Government workers. Soldiers. The homeless. Those in palaces. Prostitutes. Rapists. Musicians. Giants. A witch. Those with speech impediments. The obese. The healthy. Black people. White people. People of all shades and hues. The executed. The released. Women. Men. Girls. Boys. Infants. Those who were handsome. The disfigured. Widows. Widowers. Teachers. Students. Brothers. Sisters. Mothers. Fathers. The arrogant. The mourners. The meek. The brave. The afraid. The fatherless. The motherless. The childless. Prisoners. Politicians. Thieves. Murderers. The weak. The strong. Those who are bald. Farmers. Carpenters. Sailors. Writers. Doubters. Believers. Preachers. Designers. Architects. Business owners. Singers. Doctors. Shepherds. The crazy. The dead. And the dreamers.
In that great list, of people from all walks and colors and places and ideas, you will find people on your street, or where you work, or even in your home. Those people may be gathered around large tables of food at holidays, or they may be in the waiting room at the hospital where you wait for dreaded news.
They stand behind you in line as you purchase groceries, or they are driving the automobile just ahead of you on the roads you frequent. They hide behind great roles in your favorite films, and they are pictured on the pages of your magazines. They are the people you text, or call, or avoid. They are the strangers who walk the sidewalks of your neighborhood, and they are your parents. They are those you love, and those you hate.
And they are also found in the pages of the Word of God. Those people above, in that list, were used by God as he revealed His glory. Some of them were willing participants. Others, honestly, were not. But either way, God used people like this to achieve the single greatest story in humanity. These are the people used by God.
Somewhere, above, you will find yourself. You are, right now, a participant in God’s unfolding story. The shaping done by God is tough, and is painful, but we have the unbelievable story, printed on thin pages, to tell us that people like you, and me, and those you despise, and those you love, can be used by God for unbelievable things.
Do not believe that your life is lost, or hopeless, or your grief is too heavy a weight on your shoulders. Do not believe the stories you were told that you cannot achieve, or be, or succeed, or serve, or bless, or pray. And do not believe that the job you lost is the end of your career, and do not believe that any government can dictate your freedom in Christ. Do not believe that your impediments are unique, and do not believe that your loneliness is your destiny. God has taken people, just like you — just like you — and shaped a world that only needs to glance at a wristwatch and see Jesus in the shaping of our years and dates and times.
So do not be cynical about what you have, or what you can do, or where you are from, or where you want to go. Because the very moment you doubt is the very moment God is proven to be real.