Beautiful Things Out of the Dust

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you were Mary—just an average teenage girl living an ordinary life? What would your reaction be if an angel had come to you and told you that you had been chosen by God to bear His Son?

I personally would have been somewhat confused, thinking that perhaps the angel had the wrong person. There is absolutely nothing about me that should qualify to give birth to God’s only Son. However, God decided not to choose someone who was considered “important”. Sure, he could have. And he could've chosen a place other than the small town of Bethlehem to be the birth place of Jesus. God was perfectly capable of arranging for His Son to be delivered to earth in the most beautiful, extravagant way. Yet he didn't.

"We must remember that Mary wasn’t someone of particular significance or importance in Nazareth. She was no daughter of privilege, no sister of success, no cousin to royalty. She was just a kid—a young woman betrothed to a young man named Joseph. An ordinary woman expecting to live an ordinary life. But God had other plans."
~Ross Parsley

It's obvious that God doesn't call the qualified. He seems to pull more for the underdogs to do great things for His Kingdom.

“He used a virgin who was a nobody to give birth so a Somebody who could bring the Gospel to everybody.” ~Luke 1:26-28

That thought alone should be encouraging for anyone who has felt worthless, anyone who has felt as if they will never measure up to anything in life. Don’t listen to those who have bullied you. Don’t listen to what people have told you is necessary in order to “make it big” in life. God is with you, and He has created you unique. He promises that he has something beautiful in store for you. (Jer. 29:11).

As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, I’ve always felt a bit different from others my age. However, the one thing that has encouraged me throughout the years is that the teenage years are very short compared to the rest of our lives. People tend to change—some a bit drastically, for that matter—after high school. There are still plenty years ahead of us that we can look forward to.

It’s kind of crazy, thinking how I will soon be traveling around to youth groups and schools to speak and promote my upcoming debut novel, Purple Moon. Any of my classmates from middle or high school would be completely stunned to hear this. I’ve always been known as a quiet girl. But despite that personality trait—which I have looked down upon plenty of times in my life—God has shown me that he can still use me. That’s because he doesn’t call us based on our personality, education, reputation, or even our past. Absolutely nothing can keep you from God’s promises.

"Abraham didn’t focus on his own impotence and say, 'It’s hopeless. This hundred-year-old body could never father a child.' Nor did he survey Sarah’s decades of infertility and give up. He didn’t tiptoe around God’s promise asking cautiously skeptical questions. He plunged into the promise and came up strong, ready for God, sure that God would make good on what he had said. That’s why it is said, 'Abraham was declared fit before God by trusting God to set him right' But it’s not just Abraham; it’s also us! The same thing gets said about us when we embrace and believe the One who brought Jesus to life when the conditions were equally hopeless."
~Romans 4:19-25

God seems to enjoy creating beautiful things out of the dust—out of the average, the ordinary, and the forgotten. That is, in fact, how the earth came into existence.

“The old is passing away; all things are being made new” (2 Corin. 517).  Allow God to transfer you into a new “you” to do the plans that he has called for you to do. When he calls you to do something that seems impossible, don’t question him. Remember the promise that He has given you. Have faith that He will bring it into fruition, despite your past and despite the way things may look right now. God makes beautiful things out of the dust, not out of what is already perfect and beautiful. 

Although your circumstances may not look so great right now, He can make something beautiful out of it. And yes, he is going to use you; he is going to use you just the way you are--including your flaws. What I’ve learned is that “in our weaknesses, God is made strong” (2 Corin. 12:9).

Don’t be afraid of releasing the old and receiving the new—receiving all that God has in store for you if you continue to follow Him. He can do beautiful things through you and for you, all in order to ultimately bring glory to Himself.

You'll find proof all throughout the Bible that God doesn't call the qualified. Think about it: Moses stuttered. David was just a teenage boy. Both Sarah and Elizabeth were too old to have a baby. Mary was a virgin. Gideon was cowardly. Jacob was a thief. David had an affair and was a murderer. Noah was a drunk. Zaccheus was too short. Joseph was abused. Rahab was a prostitute.

So when we go out and do the things He has called us to do, it won't be because of us or through our own strength. It'll be God's spirit working inside of us.

"The angel told Mary that she would conceive without knowing a man. In other words, God was saying it could happen through supernatural means. It can happen without the bank loaning you the money. It can happen without having the right education. It can happen in spite of your past. It can happen despite what the critics are telling you. With God, all things are possible."
~Joel Osteen

There is no sin you can commit that God considers unforgiveable. If you confess your sin, repent, and do everything you can not to fall back into your sinful life, God will “blot out your transgressions as far as the east is from the west” (Is. 44:22). His mercy never runs out. In fact, it’s “new every morning” (Lam. 3:22-23). So when you ask for forgiveness and receive Jesus, he rids you from your sins. You are made clean, you are made new, you are made whole, and you are made perfectly capable of doing all that God has in store for you to do. Yes, he can even use your past mistakes for good use. God actually has quite a knack for turning brokenness into something beautiful.

So release your past and receive the new. Receive the plans that God has for you, receive the new you that he is forming which will bring glory to Him.

“All the earlier troubles, chaos, and pain
are things of the past, to be forgotten.
Look ahead with joy.
Anticipate what I’m creating…”
~Isaiah 65:18-19

And rather than thinking that your life has been too dirty, or that things look too messed up right now, do as Abraham did; plunge into God's promise. Have faith, keeping in mind that God made you out of dust. Surely he can make something beautiful out of your life as well.

"Jesus came to Mary and Joseph as He comes to us. In seasons of great pain, despair, and disappointment, He comes. Just when you're at the end of yourself, He comes. He appears at just the right moment—never early, but always at the right time. And it is at this moment that you realize it's not the end. It's just the beginning." ~Ross Parsley

Tessa Hall is a 19-year-old coffeeholic and author of Purple Moon. She is also the editor over the faith department for Temperance Magazine, as well as a contributing writer for Imagine Mag, More To Be, & Real Teen Faith. She loves acting, music, Starbucks, and her imperial Shih Tzu—who is named Brewer after a character in her book, as well as her love for coffee.