“Who am I, that the mother of my Master should come unto me?” (Lk 1:43 TLV) Elizabeth, great with child, a child that should not have been, chose to believe her cousin Mary’s words, that the babe within her was conceived by the Holy Ghost. But who I am anyway? she wondered. What an honor.
“Who am I?” asked Gideon. “That I should deliver anyone. ‘Behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house.’” (Jdg 6:15) I am the most insignificant man here. I have no connections. Yet, faced with those odds, Gideon chose to act to save his people.
“Did you call me?” Young Samuel heard his name and ran to the only man in the house, the priest Eli. Eli, overweight, old, and blind, sent him back to bed. “Samuel?” the voice called again, and again, the boy ran to the priest, only to be told he’d never spoken.
“Next time, say ‘I am listening,’” Eli advised.
“And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.” (1Sa 3:10)
These questions burn within me. Who am I? I’ve asked many times. I have no formal schooling. I live in a small town, in a relatively rural part of Central Florida. I learned to write by trial and error, making mistakes and correcting them, painting a target on myself in the face of public opinion with books and devotionals.
“Suzanne?” I hear the Voice calling. I know the Voice now. For a while, I was unsure and stumbled forward, looking for answers. Why did God choose to speak such great things through me? Why did He give me a heart for the nation? Why tell me anything significant at all?
Take David. Here’s a shepherd boy, the youngest, the least. Even Samuel, mighty prophet of God, an old man then, thought his brothers looked more kingly. (1Sa 16:6) Surely, God would use someone tall, statuesque. But no, God was looking at the heart (1Sa 16:7), looking for David, who worshiped in the fields with the sheep, a job his brothers didn’t want, all dressed like warriors they were not.
What made the warrior? Not the appearance. What made the prophet? Not age and experience. What made the mother of Messiah? Not a castle with a robe and a throne. A girl. A boy. A shepherd.
A girl from Auburndale, who fallen on her face, crippled with fear, cried out, “Save me.”
What makes a leader? What makes a man who can design laws for the good of a nation? Not an election. Not income. Not education. What makes a pastor? Not a church building. Not a certificate of ordination. What makes an evangelist? Not a tent. Not a crowd.
“So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.” (Mt 20:16)
Why me? Why now? Why them? Why anyone? When I drive a car that’s 15 years old and my well water is orange and my bathroom needs cleaning. Again. Why, when I don’t have a desk or an office? Why does the Voice wake me up at 2 am and tell me such magnificent things?
One reason, one answer that burns in me today, fire shut up in my bones that cannot be quenched. (Jer 20:9)
“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 KJV)
It is not the education nor the finances nor the intelligence nor the job position nor beauty nor any other earthly thing which catches the Lord’s eye, it is the heart. It is that WE ARE THE TEMPLE the Holy Ghost lives in. He’s not looking at all the outward things, which perish, but at the heart.
David stood in the face of the meanest, baddest warrior the Philistines had, in front of his brothers, who were too afraid to fight him, and dared that piece of garbage, uncircumcised loudmouth to go against God. Gideon tore down his father’s idols without asking permission then assembled a tiny army to make a lot of noise which scared the life out of an entire Midianite army of thousands who turned and fled. (Jdg 7:20-21)
Elizabeth named her son John when all their friends thought for sure she’d say Zacharias, Jr., and then Papa-Zach finally got his voice back to decree it. Must’ve scared them to death. (Lk 1:65)
Mary nursed the Messiah, with everyone around her wondering if she’d told the truth or lied. Maybe she lied. Maybe she and Joseph had been sneakin’ around. Only, no, they hadn’t because Joe was gonna dump her in private, behind everyone’s backs, until, flash, an angel shows up and says, “She’s got the Savior, bro.” (Mt 1:19-20)
These all dared TO DO because God was WITH THEM, and God is WITH ME. He lives in me, and He speaks to me, and I’ve cultured hearing. That’s really the key. He speaks where He’s (a) wanted and (b) placed first. Are we like Eli, sleeping in the furthest room because it’s more comfortable, or like Samuel, curled up to the ark, so close when God talks, we hear it? (1Sa 3:3)
Which is more important, the television or the Bible? Worship in the quiet corner of our house with no one watching or being on the first pew up front, in our best dress, with our hands raised so everyone can see us? Are we happy in secret with God wearing pjs or do we need the attention?
I DO NOT NEED THE ATTENTION. In fact, I’ve said this to the Lord. You can keep it. Then He speaks again, “Tell them this.” Yes, Lord, I will. Because obedience is the way out of any problem. You’re crushed and broken, and God asks you to go and do, but you argue with Him. This happened to me recently. I told a friend the other day I was angry, and I gave the Holy Spirit a piece of my mind. “How’d that work for you?” she asked me. It failed. It always fails, and there I was later, repenting, and do you know what He said?
“I love you. Now, go and tell them this thing.”
Go and tell them because you have my heart, because I live in you, because the only palace I need is the one I’ve built inside you.
I, Suzanne D. Williams, insignificant writer, am a palace fit for a King because He wanted it to work that way, because He died on a cross and rose from the dead, all “tada” and “Guess what, folks, I ain’t dead, and now go and teach and heal and deliver like I did.” (Mk 16:15-17)
For ordinary people. For those with tattoos, in skinny jeans. For those who did drugs and spent time in jail. For those who work at the grocery store, the auto shop, the gas station. I speak what He says because GOD IS IN ME, sitting on a throne in a palace that looks like me, that talks like me, that sounds like Him.
Suzanne D. Williams, Author