God Chooses Those He Uses

David began his life as a nobody—an ordinary shepherd boy—chosen by God to become a somebody—an extraordinary king over God’s own people.

Photo by Lis Burke [CC-BY-SA-2.0] via Wikimedia Commons

Yet, before David wore his crown, God shaped his character by allowing pain to be his close companion for over a decade. The presence of suffering made no sense to David at the time; yet God had a purpose David couldn’t imagine as he endured those difficult years.

David’s life reveals this absolute truth about suffering: adversity is allowed for a purpose you often cannot comprehend today. When suffering comes, cling to the words of Isaiah 55:3, 8: “Give ear and come to me; / hear me, that your soul may live. . . . for my (God’s) thoughts are not your thoughts, / neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord” (NIV).

Photo source

In one of my father’s sermons, he quoted the following poem; may it be encouraging to you today!

When God wants to drill a man
And thrill a man
And skill a man,
When God wants to mold a man
To play the noblest part;

When He yearns with all His heart
To create so great and bold a man
That all the world shall be amazed,
Watch His methods, watch His ways!

How He ruthlessly perfects
Whom He royally elects!
How He hammers him and hurts him,
And with mighty blows converts him

Into trial shapes of clay which
Only God understands;
While his tortured heart is crying
And he lifts beseeching hands!

How He bends but never breaks
When his good He undertakes;
How He uses whom He chooses
And with every purpose fuses him;
By every act induces him
To try His splendor out—
God knows what He’s about!
—Author unknown1Quoted in Charles R. Swindoll, “A Nobody, Nobody Noticed,” in David: A Man of Passion & Destiny.

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Notes:   [ + ]

1. Quoted in Charles R. Swindoll, “A Nobody, Nobody Noticed,” in David: A Man of Passion & Destiny.
  • Missy Wang

    Colleen thanks for posting this. Going through the pain as I post. My world ready to collapse at any moment or at least feels that way. Stress and pressure that engulfs. Trying my best to swim up to the light because the lies that are swirling are killing me. One of them is that fact that no matter how hard I try to serve and minister in our church I feel totally shut out of it all. Its that wall effect. Which then plays on my insecurties which then feeds on the lies that satan tells me. Just need it all to stop. Read this and I feel it and I know it to be true. Just hard.

    • Missy,
      The key word in your comment is “feel”…how I wish our feelings were the truth but they are indeed shaded by experience, history, constitution, current circumstances, and so much more. You are right on when you say that Satan plays on your insecurities….he really has little to go on for those committed to Christ so in whatever way he can attempt to destroy you, he will. Since this seems to be the case, here is a practice I use when fears, insecurities, and worries of this world swirl around me… I honestly say, “thank you for driving me into the hands of my GOD who is faithful, protecting, loving, faithful, and true”. The enemy longs for us to become dizzy with lies; in so doing, we become exhausted. Instead, allow the evil work to bring about a great work in you…one that is purposed for good and strength. I know you and I know it’s in you; you are strong, sensitive, loving and also attentive to our Father’s direction. I don’t know what you are running into with the church issues…there can be so many! But I would ask the Lord to help you sort out fact and truth from fiction and lies. If the truth is that your energy is to be used elsewhere, then so be it…and run to those opportunities God is opening up to you. If the truth is that your feelings are playing into this, taking a step back, breathing, and evaluating your involvement would be a good thing to do. In all things, God will lead you through. If there is a wall, then He will lead you around it to another place because He will work in and through those who are surrendered to Him. You can’t change others, you can change your choices and direction. While I am saddened that there may be walls and life may be crushing you …. which is so hard to endure… I am anxious to see what our good and faithful Father is preparing for you. Who knows but this pain could be the making of you and some greater purpose we can’t know of right now. So stay the course my friend, focus on truth, evaluate, reflect, and ask God to guide. He promises to light the way. Let me know how you are as these next few days pass. You are one amazing mom and wife and person! Colleen

  • Lawrence A Evans

    I love your dad Colleen… he’s been a radio mentor of mine for over 30 years. I was in the US Peace Corps on a desolate island and the only radio station I could get carried his program. I’d been a teacher and college professor and very successful (worldly).. but empty inside. God led me to your father the day he began his “Living on the Ragged Edge” series. In microcosmic way, I unintentionally paralleled Solomon’s search for happiness and like him I was “chasing the wind”. Like him I could not find peace through a life of Liquor, Lust, Luxury, Learning or Labor. But when Chuck and I got to Chapter 12 and I saw the answer was in the 6th “L”… the LORD…. well, I was “hooked” from that moment on.

    Oh.. there’s so much more.. like I’d been so depressed previously that I literally lost my ability to articulate (and I was a teacher). I embarrassingly fumbled words and sentences… which is what led me to escape to a Third World Country. I liked your dad’s authentic and humourous style so much I taught myself how to talk again by replaying his taped sermons with an ear bud. I’d listen to a phrase, pause… then say it aloud from an imaginary pulpit in my island bungalow. Eventually I got so good I didn’t need to pause anymore… hahaha. Oh what great memories… Thank you Jesus (and Pastor Chuck).

    There’s so much more but let me stop now to tell you why I initially opened this dialogue (had no intention of saying what I did.. God took over after saying “I love your dad”… haha.

    But I Googled a phrase I’d heard him say (“God uses whom He chooses”) and your post came up… and I was able to share it and bless a friend on Facebook.

    Thank you Colleen for continuing to fan the flame… your dad most obviously is very proud of you. And it’s kinda like I know you because he’s talked about you so much since you were a little girl :~)

    Larry Evans
    http://www.facebook.com/levans999

  • Lawrence,
    What an amazing story…and how God weaves lives and stories together at just the right moments continues to amaze me. You know, it was when my dad was all alone in Okinawan…the guys in his platoon were wild and he was all alone. During those days and weeks and months, God revealed to my dad that ministry was to be his direction. It seems when the bottom has totally dropped out or we are all, all alone as David writes in Ps 13, we come to find who God really is…not the one in our childhood imaginations but the real God, sovereign over all things. How lonely it can be to wait or endure depression, such dark seasons of despair that we wonder if there will ever be light. Then He provides a tiny radio with one station for you to hear and what do you know…HE is there for you. I so thank you for sharing this part of your story…you know my dad stuttered as a child…horribly! I wrote a post on that too…and on man who has now passed away worked with him through high school…dad won the highest honor in theater his senior year. Isn’t it like we read of with Moses…Oh no Lord, you are crazy to think I can do _____, and yet, HE does it through us and all our broken pieces. What a wonderful note your wrote…I’m sending it to my dad to encourage him as I sometimes do when I hear from someone who has been touched by his ministry. We never know just how God will work things out but by recalling past “God works”, it encourages us to continue believing He will be ever so faithful. Thank you so very much for reaching out and sharing. I hope this is not the last note from you as you sound like you have a wonderful story. May the Lord abundantly shower you with His full grace and peace in the days ahead. Colleen

  • Sandra

    Hello Colleen, being stranded today as car care appt is tomorrow, I will read Bible and view some of these interviews on your blog today. I particularly will read Isiah 55:3,8 . The poem is so real and true for my experience here.
    Thank you for your remarkable connection and compassionate care with wisdom and an incredible uncondtional love and grace always.
    With Gratitude
    Sandra