I’ve had a taste of success, but not much more than a spoonful. I’ve recorded three contemporary Christian records and authored and published two books. Though the songs and books touched thousands of people’s hearts, financially they lost money. I’ve owned and managed a couple businesses that did fairly well, but they never made me a millionaire, or even close to becoming one. We all do our best but largely still remain Average Joes. For the most part we are common, ordinary people.
King Solomon was so rich the Bible says he “made silver as common in Jerusalem as stones” (1 Kings 10:27 NIV). There is nothing more common than a stone. The Bible recognizes our commonness, but defines it as a qualifying attribute of those called by God. “Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him” (1 Corinthians 1:26-29 NIV).
Jesus told us God can make “children of promise” from stones. “God can create children of Abraham from these very stones” (Matthew 3:9 NLT). If necessary, stones can shout God’s praise, “Jesus replied, ‘if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out”’ (Luke 19:40 NIV).
As a young boy David used a small stone to defeat a giant. “(David) chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell face down on the ground. So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him” (I Samuel 17:40, 49 & 50 NIV). Common stones are powerful weapons in the right hands.
Along with the chief cornerstone (who is Jesus), God is fitting all of us common stones into a strong and beautiful superstructure that glorifies Him (see 1 Peter 2:5-8). Those same common stones are transformed into “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9NIV).
By the world’s standards we may seem unsuccessful, common, invisible, weak and foolish; however, those are the exact materials God uses to build something special. It brings Him great glory to create something out of nothing. So rejoice fellow commoners! We are the ammunition in God’s powerful slingshot to “cast down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God” (2 Corinthians 10:5a NKJV). He loves using the weak to conquer the strong, the foolish to outwit the wise, and the common to display the extraordinary greatness of God. Now that’s what I call success!