“But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being.” ~ Galatians 1:15-16
I often go about my days forgetting how God has chosen me, and has set me apart from the time I was in my mother’s womb. I wonder how many other people, like me, get caught up in the hussle of life and don’t take the time to fully absorb the fact that God loves us so much that he chose us first.
What does it mean to be chosen? As a child, my memories of being “chosen” were not positive. For many reasons unknown to me, I was often chosen last in a line up. I despised waiting to be called because I always knew I would be chosen last or close to last, and I often felt embarrassed as if there was something wrong with me. Yet I was always hopeful that maybe someone would call my name, and maybe someone would choose me first.
In middle school I went bowling with my youth group, and after scoring the lowest score my youth leader said, “Lisa, the first shall be last and the last shall be first.” Those words remained with me to this day as he told me about the parable of the workers in the vineyard – Matthew 10:16. I always held on to that knowledge with the anticipation that one day I would be chosen first, and that to Jesus there is no first and last, but equals.
As I read this verse in Galatians, I was reminded that I have been chosen first because God chose me, even before I could chose him. He chose me in my mother’s womb, and set me apart to do great things. Although there are times when I doubt myself and lack the confidence I need, I know God desires great things for my life, and he has equiped me to preach among the nations – however that looks. It’s taken me many years to realize that I am a leader. For years I was comfortable simply following because I had allowed my surroundings to define me as a follower and as one chosen last. Yet God continues to choose me first. He picks me up, dusts me off, and makes me sparkle like a treasure, because in his eyes I am a treasure. He created me to preach his word, and to be a voice for those who have yet to find their voices. I am a leader, and each day I continue to discover my own voice and abilities as I let God define who I am, chosen and loved, and precious in His sight.