But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7
It was some time ago when I saw a contest that ended up crowning a deaf Miss America.
Those who watched were given an opportunity to rejoice in those blessed and extraordinary people whose courageous spirits allow them to conquer difficulties.
Every generation has such special souls.
A special soul: that would describe Charles William Eliot, who lived from 1834 to 1926 and managed to become the president of Harvard University.
If you had asked the boy Charles Eliot if he would ever attain a position of respect, he would have said, "Absolutely not."
You see, Charles was born with a large, and inoperable mark on his face. That mark greatly bothered him and caused a profound self-consciousness, a spirit of doubt that cut him off from relationships, possible achievements, and future happiness.
After watching her son suffer for a protracted period, Charles' mother gave him a powerful piece of advice. She said, "My son, it is not possible for you to get rid of that hardship . . . But it is possible for you, with God's help, to grow a mind and soul so big that people will forget to look at your face."
Harvard was blessed because Charles, with God's assistance, followed his mother's advice.
Now that you've heard Charles' story, let me ask, "Is there a blemish, a flaw, a problem which is holding you back from being the person the Lord wants you to be." Long ago, the Heavenly Father sent His Son to live, suffer, die, and rise to save you.
That sacrifice of God's Son makes you a very special individual.
Do you see the truth in that? Do you believe it? If not, today let the Holy Spirit minimize your weaknesses so the world may see the Savior's strengths shining through you.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER:Dear Lord, what a comfort it is to know You see my heart. Thank You for transforming me. Now, let me live as one of Your blessed and forgiven people. Let me live so others may see my Lord and their Savior. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries