April 8, 2018

From Obscurity to Trailblazer: 2 Examples



“Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place”—Psalm 66:12 (KJV)

“Do you really want to go there?”
“Are you kidding? You’re only a______” (Fill in the blank.)
“We’re looking for someone with more experience.”
“I don’t know if you can handle it.”

How many times do we hear messages like this? Maybe we have such pessimistic thoughts about ourselves, too.

That’s okay. The strongest individuals usually rise out of the ashes like the mythical Phoenix. Let’s look at two examples:

Gideon

We find this amazing story in Judges, chapter 6. The angel of the Lord greets him by saying, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” In fact, Gideon was anything but a strong soldier at that point.  He hadn’t done any fighting.

 He essentially asked the angel, “Who, me?” He describes himself as the least in his family. He also says his clan is the weakest in the tribe of Manasseh.

Gideon continues complaining. He wonders why God has allowed Israel to be enslaved by the Egyptians, and more recently, the Midianites. The angel of the Lord says he is going to help Israel. In fact, He’s sending Gideon to lead the fight against the Midianites. The heavenly being says Gideon will be strengthened by divine help. Verse 16 states that the Lord will be with him and Gideon will destroy all of Israel’s captors.

Gideon wasn’t supposed to be an unappreciated, unknown young man. God absolutely had more important activities in mind for him. He was meant to lead the attack against Israel’s latest conquerors.


Davey Crockett (from the History Channel documentary series: "The Men Who Built America: Frontiersmen")

Crockett was a humble frontiersman from Tennessee, U.S. President Andrew Jackson's home state. He had only four days of schooling and initially left home in his early teen years. He did a variety of jobs, including bear hunter and soldier.

Fast forward to 1826. He was elected to Congress for the first time. Crockett spoke out against Jackson’s policies on American Indians.  (Jackson was responsible for the Indian Removal Act [Trail of Tears], among other aggressive actions.) In retaliation, the President shredded Crockett's reputation through newspapers. (Nothing's changed, right? Politics!) Crockett lost the 1831 election to Jackson's hand-picked man, William Fitzgerald.

The frontiersman went back to Tennessee with his tail between his legs. When he got home, Crockett found out his wife had left him. He had nothing left for which to stay. The frontiersman migrated to Texas. He was a hero of the 90-minute battle (massacre) at the Alamo in San Antonio. This was the costly beginning of Texas’ successful fight to gain independence from Mexico.

Most sources believe the “King of the Wild Frontier” died defending the Alamo. Other sources say Crockett’s body was never actually recovered.

In any case, this humble man wasn't supposed to be a soldier, bear hunter, or even a Tennessee congressman. God had something bigger in mind for him. He was supposed to help liberate Texas and expand the American frontier.

My Conclusion

Where you are now is not where you have to stay. Your future cannot be dictated by past or present negativity. You don’t have to keep wearing the labels of “unappreciated” and “undervalued”. Choose some new categories. After that, keep moving forward in patience. Your hard-earned breakthrough may be just around the corner.

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