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A Prayer for When God’s Great Things for You Feel Small
By Chelsey DeMatteis 

"So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.” 1 Samuel 16:12

Have you ever looked at the gifts God has given you or the life God’s given you and wondered, “Is this really it?” This is a deep question; it's typically laced with worrying about what lies ahead, wondering what you could’ve done differently, and filled with wishful thinking of what you thought would be. I think it's safe to assume we've all been here, but the truth is we can't stay in these thoughts for long. It will take us to a place of questioning who God is, what He's doing, and if He really wants good things for us. 

I remember a specific time this question washed over me: I was sitting at a table with a group of women. They were all highly esteemed with their degrees, personally crafted websites, dreams, and a confidence that certainly didn't match what I was feeling. "Why would God bring me here? Do I really have something to offer in this sea of women who seem to have it all together?" I asked. I felt humiliated, defeated, and suddenly questioning what I knew God gifted me to do. I wanted to shut down, quit, and act like the entire experience over the course of 3 days never happened. It would've been easier to live in that reality, but the Lord taught me something else. 

David in the Bible was a shepherd boy, the youngest of his brothers, and nothing was set to come of his life in a big, outlandish way. Imagine how that felt and imagine the thoughts that went through his mind at night. I wonder if, while keeping watch over his sheep for long periods of time, he found himself asking God (in the same way we do), "Is this really all you have planned for me?" 

Little did David know God had many plans for his life. Plans that David could've never imagined for himself. Plans that could only unfold by the hand of God. David's small beginnings and small gifts were just the start of God's incredible future for His life. That said, even if the only plan God had for David was to be a shepherd, that would've been the perfect life God had penned for his days. But, because of how his life panned out, we can look to David's life to be encouraged and know we can trust that no matter what the plans are, they will be for our good.

"Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these.” So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?” “There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.” Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.” So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.” So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David. Samuel then went to Ramah." 1 Samuel 16:10-13

Here, we see the plans unfolding. Wow, I can imagine that after this encounter happened for Jesse and his older sons, they found themselves sitting in complete disbelief, probably asking: "How could God choose the youngest boy?" "How could God choose the shepherd boy?" "How could God choose the one who doesn't look to have a great life ahead of him?"

This might be how you feel about yourself, asking how God could ever choose you and how God will ever open doors for your gifts to be used. This goes back to what I shared at the beginning; these questions are fine only for a moment. We cannot stay stuck here because God wants to use you right where He has you. God wants you to see that every single day, He is giving you an opportunity to work for the Kingdom of God.

I want to invite you to trust what God is doing in your life and to trust that He will continue to open doors for you to use the gifts He's given you. It may look different than you pictured; it may look smaller than you were hoping for, but the way it pans out and the size of its unfolding doesn't discount the faithfulness of God to use you. He is faithful to use His children's gifts in big and small ways. Like David, He makes a way in His perfect timing. Trust Him with your life and with your story. Trust Him when you're sitting at the table feeling like the "lesser" one. Trust Him when you feel looked over. Let Him lead and follow Him boldly. He will be faithful to use you!

Let’s pray:

Lord, in the moments when I feel discouraged with my life and question the gifts you've given me, encourage my heart with the reminders of your goodness. Help me lean into you and the Holy Spirit as I grow in my ability to trust you. May I always remember that you created me with great purpose. In Jesus' name, amen.

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/LaylaBird

Chelsey is the voice behind the Living with Less Podcast and author of the 52-week devotional More of Him, Less of Me: Living a Christ-centered Life in a Me-centered World. She writes devotions for Lifeway Women's Journey Magazine, Crosswalk.com, and iBelieve.com. She also writes Bible reading plans for the YouVersion Bible App. Chelsey lives in Ohio with her husband and two children. You can connect with her on Instagram @chelseydematteis and at her website ChelseyDeMatteis.com.

Teach Us to Pray is a FREE prayer podcast hosted by iBelieve writer Christina Patterson. Each week, she gives you practical, real-life tips on how to grow your faith and relationship with God through the power of prayer. To listen to her episode on What to Pray in the Morning for a Worry-Free Day, click below!

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