But, I'm Just Another Ordinary Lobster
Read: 1 Samuel 16:7; 1 Corinthians 1:26-31; 2 Corinthians 4:7; John 15:16
Frequently, fishermen speak in glowing terms about "the one that got away", referring to a magnificent sea creature that they might have had if only...! This week, Bill Coppersmith, a Maine lobsterman, encountered the one that didn't get away. He has been doing this same job for 40 years, but this week was extraordinary because he trapped an iridescent cotton-candy lobster. The chance of such a haul is one in 100 million! What a surprise to find that this beautiful creature had been caught in his trap. He named her Haddie after his granddaughter who is eight years old. Haddie will never be someone's dinner; instead, she will live out her life in the lap of lobster luxury. She will be much safer now since beautifully colored lobsters, which don't blend in with the ordinary rather drab ones, are not able to readily hide from their enemies. Lucky Haddie will be kept well fed and protected from dangers of all kinds. It pays to be rare and beautiful in this world, but if we're honest, most of us can relate to the ordinary lobsters, rather than the lovely rare ones. We often aren't lauded by the world; however, God has truth to encourage those of us who belong to Him, whether we relate more to Haddie's rare beauty or identify with the run-of-the-mill lobster?
In 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 we are reminded that God often chooses the ones that the world might overlook. The ones He chooses are often unimpressive people with rather ordinary backgrounds and resources. Why? Paul tells us that the Lord does this so that He will be honored and so that the world will be confused and unable to explain what He has done. When God shines His light through someone the world sees as a "nobody", those who don't yet belong to Him can't understand it. Billy Graham never ceased to be amazed that God could use someone as simple as he was, and yet, look what God did! The glory belongs to the One Who knit Billy together in his Mother's womb and gave him the desire and ability to do His will, Psalm 139:13-16; Philippians 2:12-13. That is why Mr. Graham boasted in the Lord and never forgot his ordinary background.
The way the world chooses its shining stars is so different, isn't it? We learn that truth when we are little children. Who are the first to be chosen to play a game? Of course, they are the ones who will give the team the best chance of winning. It only makes sense. Who is chosen to enter the beauty contest? Of course, the ones who have poise and beauty. That's how it is done. That is the way of the world, and the scripture doesn't deny it. God's ways are so different. In 1 Samuel 16:7, we have a front row seat as Samuel tries to determine which of Jesse's sons God has chosen to be Israel's next king. We watch as he evaluates each of Jesse's sons, using what he can see as a measuring line to determine God's choice. He was looking for a man who had the look of a king, but God kept rejecting them one by one. Why? Because God says that He looks on the heart, rather than what is seen on the surface.
Often what the world sees in our lives disqualifies us from honors that might be nice to have or tasks we might like to accomplish. Isn't it comforting to know that God chooses us according to what He alone sees? He is not deterred by men's opinions. He chooses us because that is His desire, Deuteronomy 7:7-8. What might seem like a roadblock in our lives might be turned into a steppingstone in the hands of Almighty God. It is God Who both prepares the work for His children and prepares His children for the works He has for them, Ephesians 2:10.
Do we feel ordinary like the unimpressive looking lobsters? After all, God has said that we are simple earthenware containers, 2 Corinthians 4:7. However, there is more truth tucked into that verse. Being ordinary isn't the issue at all. We carry a treasure within us. The Holy Spirit Himself Who enables us to share the treasures of scripture, 1 Corinthians 6:19. The world might look at the weaknesses we have or the deficits that are a part of our lives. They might even write us off. What they say might be true according to worldly standards. However, what trumps that truth is Whose we are and Who we represent. We are ambassadors of Jesus who carry the treasure truth of how people can be reconciled to God, 2 Corinthians 5:18-20. Such a wondrous mission that God has chosen for us to fulfill. No wonder He tells us in John 15:16 that we are chosen to bear fruit that is eternal.
Yes, the world chooses in its way so that its people will have honors and treasures for the here-and-now. On the other hand, God chooses us so that we will have an abundant life that begins now and lasts forever, John 10:10;1 Peter 1:3-5.