Friend I just got to stop and tell you something. You Are Allowed To Be Different! I don't know if that speaks to any of you, but wow was it something I wish someone had told me when I was younger. I spent far to long trying to hide the things that made me different, trying to fit into the mold shaped by society and culture. Trying to hide who God made me to be in an effort to fit into a culture I was always meant to stand out in. As believers we are in the world, but not of it.
I love the story of Esther within the Bible. I don't know if you have read her story, but I would encourage you to. The book of Esther is an incredible story of the faithfulness of God and the redemption of a nation. Esther was different and she was faithful, Let's look at a piece of the story found in Esther 4:13-14, This is right after it has been revealed that Haman a member of the Kings inner circle has plotted against the Jewish people, tricking the King in the process. Esther's uncle learns of this and sends a message to his niece the new Queen, let's read it together,
"Mordecai sent this reply to Esther; 'Don't think for a moment that because you're in the palace you will escape when all other Jews are killed. If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows is perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?'" - Esther 4:13-14
Did you catch that? "Perhaps you were made queen for such a time as this?" Esther was different! The Bible is full of stories of people who were different. Look at David, a shepherd boy who God used to bring down a giant, a boy anointed King, a man who broke more than one commandment and yet is referred to as a man after God's own heart. Look at Moses, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Gideon, Solomon, Jonah, Peter, Paul, all of these individual were different. They weren't who culture would pick to change the world. They were different, broken, but made whole. God uses different and turns it into something beautiful.
I love the story of Paul. Before he was Paul his name was Saul, and Saul was not a nice dude. Let's just read part of his story. The story is found in Acts 9, we are going to jump around a bit,
"As he was approaching Damascus on this mission, a light from heaven suddenly shone down around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, 'Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?' "Who are you, lord?" Saul asked. And the voice replied, "I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting! Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do." - Acts 9:3-6
We pick back up a few verse later,
"Now there was a believer in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord spoke to him in a vision, calling, "Ananias!" "Yes, Lord!" he replied. The Lord said, "Go over to Straight Street, to the house of Judas. When you get there, ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul. He is praying to me right now. I have shown him a vision of a man named Ananias coming in and laying hands on him so he can see again." " But Lord," he exclaimed, "I've heard many people talk about the terrible things this man has done to the believers in Jerusalem! And he is authorized by the leading priests to arrest everyone who calls upon your name." - 9:10-14
I love the next few verses,
"But the Lord said, "Go, for Saul is my chosen instrument to take my message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel. And i will show him how much he must suffer for my name's sake." Acts 9:15-16
Paul was different. The Bible is filled with people who were different just like we all are today. You were never made to be the same. God created you with a unique plan and purpose for your life. Since the beginning of the world God knew you and had a plan for your life. Remember you were created to be different!
Much Love friends,