“So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. Then they prayed, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs.” Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles.” Acts 1:23-26 NIV
I paused as I read this.
Two men were singled out.
One man was chosen. Chosen by God to replace Judas.
How did the other man feel?
What did he think about God’s decision?
According to previous Scriptures, both men were good candidates—with equal qualifications.
Yet only one was chosen.
I can’t help but wonder how Joseph, called Barsabbas, felt.
I know how I would have felt- how I have felt when I wasn’t chosen for a position I was qualified for.
I felt upset. Angry. Cheated.
I also felt rejected. Like I wasn’t good enough. I wonder what was wrong with me. I wondered if I’d upset God somehow. I wondered why I wasn’t found worthy.
Even when I was happy for the person who was chosen, I wondered, “Why wasn’t it me? What more must I do?”
It’s taken the past five years for me to realize that just because I can do something doesn’t mean I should. It also doesn’t mean that it’s what God wants for me or from me. (please twee).
I may have similar gifting, and even more experience than someone else, but that doesn’t mean God intends me to do a certain job.
He picks and chooses everyone. Even people we think are less qualified. He does this because He has a plan and purpose for us all.
We don’t have to understand the plan, or even like it.
But we need to accept it.
It’s only in accepting His plan that we find peace, grow, and can be used by Him in the future.
We aren’t told how Joseph felt about not being chosen.
Maybe he was relieved. Maybe it was a job he didn’t really want.
Perhaps he was more mature than me and was able to accept the decision with a grace I’m still learning about.
Or maybe he was like me. Maybe it ate at him that he wasn’t chosen- but I don’t think it did, or if it did, he moved past it.
Fact is, we can speculate all we want. We don’t know what he thought or how he felt, but we can be certain that God had a purpose in NOT choosing him for that position.
Though we are not told the “why” we do know that Joseph continued to serve God. While Matthias isn’t mentioned again in Scripture, the one NOT chosen is.
God had a plan for Joseph, called Barsabas, that didn’t involve taking a leadership position at that time.
Later he was used to further God’s Kingdom by helping Paul. Scripture says he was a leading man among the brethren (Acts 15:22).
Even though he wasn’t chosen previously, he was chosen later because he remained open to being used by God. He remained God’s servant.
God knows what each of us need and can handle.
We must trust Him.
And we mustn’t let our hearts get hard if we aren’t chosen for something.
We can’t give into our emotions.
We must remember that God has chosen us. We are a royal priesthood.
God has a plan for you. And He knows the best time to let things come to pass in your life.
So no matter if you’re chosen today or tomorrow, remain a leader. Remain open to God using you in any capacity He sees fit…even if that means you’re chosen last.
Have peace my friend, you are a winner, even if you don’t feel like it.