by Andrea Sloma
From Pastor Joe Pullen: I’ve had the fortune of getting to know Andrea and her husband Dominic over the last seven months. From first meeting the two of them it was clear they both embody CTR’s mission of making disciples, and both have hearts that care about people who are hurting. The two of them live it out in their ministry involvement at CTR and are getting more connected by the day. I’m inspired by their story, and equally inspired by the fact that when they began coming to CTR, they immediately tasted what our heart and values are from all of you. Well done, church! I’m excited for you to hear from Andrea today:
Sweat is dripping down my forehead and my knees are aching. How is pushing a 17-month old in the stroller this difficult? I stare at those chubby cheeks and curious eyes and let out a long sigh, wondering if I’m doing enough for him. Is he thriving? Am I contributing enough to the family? Am I helping enough people during this pandemic?
I’ve got my podcast on and my ear buds in, but I’m only half listening. I’m letting myself get distracted by thoughts of my tired body and tired mind. Great, another episode about a mom who is doing it all – running her own business, raising a million kids, and living an effortlessly organic home-made Pinterest perfect life. I thought this podcast was about real moms, not superhuman, need-no-sleep, can-do-it-all moms.
I enjoy my afternoon walks. It’s my “alone” time. I don’t have to see the dirty dishes, the toys scattered in every room of the house, or the never-ending piles of clothes. So I’ll just walk and hope by the time I get back I’ve worked off all of my Easter candy.
I’m inspired by the go-getter mom. But I wonder where she finds the time and energy for all she accomplishes in a day. I want to be a great mom and wife, serve in my community, change the world, and still have time to shop the clearance racks at TJ Maxx (once the stores open again, of course). But I find it to be a miracle if I get more than one load of laundry done in a day AND keep my son alive.
I wonder if the unnamed heroine in Judges 9 ever struggled with these same insecurities. Her story is a beautiful reminder that we serve a mighty God who chooses to use the often overlooked and unexpected person to bring about change.
But a certain woman dropped an upper millstone on Abimelech’s head and crushed his skull.
JUDGES 9:53 NKJV
This ‘certain woman’ only gets one verse in the Bible, but that’s all she needs to change history and save her people. Abimelech was a wicked king who murdered his brothers, burned to death a thousand men and women, and was about to do the same to this woman’s people. For a man, much less a king, to die at the hands of a woman was considered a disgrace in the ancient Near East. But we serve a God who continually uses the weak, poor and lowly to bring about His will. Like Abimelech, I sometime forget that God is in the businesses of using the unexpected.
We don’t know where this woman was in her faith journey or what her strengths were. I believe when it comes to the glory of God, how strong our faith is or how successful we are doesn’t matter. This verse doesn’t say, “a certain woman, who had incredible faith, raised perfect children, and was a strong leader in her community”… because it doesn’t matter, not when it’s held up against the power and strength of God. In fact, not only do we know nothing about her; we’re not even given her name. She remains nameless so that God is the only name spoken over this victory.
Anything good we do in this life, any success we have, any battles we overcome have to been given to the Lord for His glory and praise or it’s in vain.
I don’t always feel like I’m brave enough, smart enough or good enough to be used by God. But this simple heroine’s story reminds me I don’t need to be any of those things. I don’t need to have it all or do it all. We are individually unique and our call to serve the Lord is unique.
God has a purpose for your life to make Him known and bring Him glory that only YOU can fulfill.
Don’t doubt God’s ability to use you in a mighty way regardless of where you are in your faith journey. He’s known for moving mountains with only a mustard seed size of faith (Matthew 17:20).
My prayer for you and me:
God, we trust that you can and WILL use us to bring about change. We need to stop putting our own expectations on how we think you will use us and be humble and available to your plan. Help us do this Lord. Help us to not compare ourselves or our circumstances to those around us, but to know we are right where you want us. Thank you for your willingness to use us as your disciples, not because of what we have to offer but because you have the power to use anyone in any circumstance. All strength, resources, and knowledge needed to make change belong to you and come from you. Help us to not forget this. All glory and praise belong to you, God. Amen.