Fourth Sunday of Lent: Never Invisible to God

By Deneen Ray

This is the fourth in a series of posts for Lent. Click on “Lent” in the tag cloud on the right to see other posts in the same series. Be sure to subscribe to the blog to get updated posts delivered straight to your inbox or feed reader.

Anointing of David, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved March 3, 2017]. Original source:

Anointing of David, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved March 3, 2017]. Original source:

1 Samuel 16:1-13

Have you ever been in a meeting or class and asked yourself, “Do I really know these people?” Or, better yet, have you been a part of a task force or school government/club and wondered, “Am I invisible? Do they see me, do they know me, or does my presence even matter to this group? And what, if anything, do I have to give back?”

At some point, we all go through life on automatic pilot. Yes, there was a time when someone got you up in the morning, reminded you of your bathroom needs, reminded you to study, get home on time, dress warm, etc. But as you move into adulthood, there is not much reminding. We just do things, visible to ourselves but perhaps feeling invisible in the greater scope of the world around us.

For me, I never truly fit in anywhere. I was not a part of the “it crowd;” every fashion don’t, I probably did; I wasn’t the loudest, nor was I a loner. I was the one who, when given a task, completed it in a timely manner. I was Ms. Dependable. I was the one you never give much thought to, because I always pulled through.

But to God…

God the Creator has meticulously created each of us with a specific purpose and gift for God’s Kingdom-building. This was from day one! Or, more accurately, Scripture says “before you were in your mother’s womb, I knew you,” (Jeremiah 1:5). So, “day one” for real…like, an “in-the-beginning” day one.

My point is that in 1 Samuel 16:1-13, David was out in the field on automatic pilot, doing what he normally did every day; meanwhile, God was activating part of his plan on David’s behalf. There are multiple messages in the text: to Samuel, to David, to the people of Israel, and to you and me.

I can relate to the heartbreak Samuel felt, after Samuel invested long hours with Saul and Saul still couldn’t, wouldn’t, and didn’t get his act together. Saul was feeling himself too much and forgot who was really in charge. Sometimes we have to move into the new season God has set up in obedience, expectation, and excitement.

The strongest, smartest, or richest person may not always be the one chosen for leadership. One who is obedient, faithful, a protector, hardworking, and who doesn’t mind being alone—this may be the kind of person God is looking for.

I am sure the criteria used in appointing Saul king were the same criteria that Samuel was using as he looked upon David’s brothers. But Saul was the king the people wanted; David is the king God wanted. I am sure the job description had changed based on the One now directing the process.

So, why is this important today, for you and me? It’s just a simple reminder that those of us who think we are invisible need to heed this reminder: You are very visible to a wise, meticulous planner who knows just when to step in and activate your purpose and gifts. Are you ready? Have you been studying your pre-purpose exercises? Are you open to the creative and innovative ways God is going to use you? Live life in full expectancy: God will reveals the plan when God is ready, so be prepared and be open. What things look like to us are not the same as what they look like to God. Trust the process, and don’t become impatient in the wait.

Turn that sleep mode off, wake up, and do you, girl! And if anyone has anything to say, you hit them with a “But, God…,” and drop the mic.


????????????????????????????????????Deneen Ray is national coordinator of AB GIRLS for American Baptist Women’s Ministries.


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