At 4’10” tall, I’ve always been the littlest one in the crowd. Even today, I often get mistaken for a child. All the way back to elementary school, you could easily find me in the class photographs because I’m the one who was front and center. Every. Single. Time. I have always been smaller than everyone else.
As I grew up, my size and stature impeded my ability to play sports. If you have ever played softball, you know that the weakest player on the team is always put in right field. I always played right field. But the worst thing about being small and weak happened in the 6th grade, when we would go outside for recess and the teacher would say, “Let’s play kickball.” Those words struck fear in my heart because I knew that the choosing of teams was next.
When it came time for the teams to be chosen, my heart would start racing and I would break out in a cold sweat because I knew the inevitable was about to happen. One by one, starting with the most tall and athletic, my classmates were picked. One by one, my friends were selected for the team and then there were just a few kids that were left standing. I was always among them.
More often than not, when the last person was picked for the kickball team team, it was me.
I was unwanted.
I didn’t matter.
Have you ever felt like you didn’t matter? Have you ever felt like your contribution to the world was minimal, insignificant, insufficient and never ever good enough? We all feel that way from time to time. Our value and worth is tied to our appearance, our abilities, and our successes. When we fail in any of those areas, our feelings of insignificance roar to life.
In the Bible there is also someone who felt like he didn’t matter. His name was Gideon and he lived when Israel was oppressed by the Midianites. When God called him to be a warrior to liberate his kinsman, he answered God by telling him that he was insignificant. He was the youngest in his family and he was from the tribe in Israel that was the least important.
He didn’t matter.
But, God chose Gideon, small and weak and insignificant in the eyes of the world, and He empowered Gideon to lead Israel to victory.
The world may see you as small and weak and insignificant like Gideon and me, but God doesn’t see you that way. He sees you as special and important and of great value. He created you, for Pete’s sake! You are so valuable to Him that He gave up His only son to die for you. God would never choose you last. He would always choose you first!
In fact, Ephesians 1:4 says that before the world was even created, God chose us.
You are not the one who was chosen LAST. You were chosen by God FIRST.
If you are in a season of never-ending dishes and diapers, you matter.
If you never went to college, you matter.
If you have a low-paying job, you matter.
If you are unemployed, you matter.
If you are knee deep in debt, you matter.
If you or small or weak or ill, you matter.
If you have a disability, you matter.
If you are a stay-at-home mom, you matter.
If you are retired or a widow, you matter.
If you have made some bad mistakes, you matter.
If you’re the “black sheep of your family,” you matter.
If you are “just a housewife” like me, you matter.
No matter your intelligence or your stature or your strength or your social standing or your education or your employment, you matter.
Because God says so.
God would never choose you last. He chose you first.
Let’s live fully, knowing that we matter.