God of Insignificance

God celebrates smallness. He invites to Himself amidst our insignificance. Like a silver chord woven into midnight-colored fabric, God’s goodness gleams in the places where we feel isolated and unimportant.

Trace the thread through the pages of Genesis. You’ll meet a man named Joseph—chosen by God yet consigned to slavery and imprisonment. Peer into Ruth. Once a pagan, then a proselyte, this widowed woman followed harvesters around trying to gather enough grain to feed herself and her mother-in-law. Go into the gospels. You’ll encounter men who earned their living as laborers—casting nets, cleaning fish, and eventually catching souls.  

Scripture’s finest figures spent most of their lives in humble positions. Some spent their whole lives in lonely places. Though they lived quietly, their stories still instruct us in the moments we feel small.

Consider the girl tucked within 2 Kings 5. Her name is never mentioned. Taken from her homeland, she lived as a captive of war. She served as a slave to another nameless woman—Naaman’s wife.

Somehow the faith of this willowy figure reached the ears of a powerful man. Naaman commanded Syria’s army. He is called a “mighty man of valor” (2 Kings 5:1). This world leader, military strategist, and battle-hardened warrior had everything, except the faith of a little girl.

Naaman lived stricken with leprosy, an insidious disease that damaged one’s nerves and stained one’s appearance. People with this condition were often considered outcasts and little could be done to cure their sometimes fatal and often painful condition.

The high-pitched suggestion of a little girl from Israel offered a marred man hope. When Naaman heard about a prophet from her homeland who could cure disease, he messaged the king and made his way to Samaria.

His pomp was quickly deflated when Elisha, the proclaimed prophet, refused to face him. Instead the man of God sent a message telling Naaman to bathe in the Jordan, a dirty and despicable river.

Naaman nearly missed his opportunity. Were it not for a few bold but nameless servants, he would have pouted his way back home. But at their insistence, he obliged, dipping his fine clothes into the murky water. Seven rinses later, he came out clean. And in his moment of humility, he met the Healer.

Whether we realize it or not, God uses insignificance. He used a slave girl to speak faith before a man who had everything. He called a man who had everything to shed his significance and dip in disgrace. In so doing, God showed Himself to be good amidst their darkest moments.  

I wonder how many unnamed people I ignore or even avoid. I wonder how many times I miss God’s movement because I’m unwilling to move down the ranks. What if we chose to embrace insignificance as the place where God reveals and revitalizes? 

Instead of disregarding nameless people and avoiding humble positions, let’s engage them. We might just find a silver thread weaving its way into our own unpretentious places.

Amanda DeWitt is a freelance writer, coach's wife, and mom. She completed her bachelor’s at Dallas Baptist University and holds a M.A. in media and communication from Dallas Theological Seminary. When she's not typing away at her computer, she's chasing her two little boys or watching her husband coach high school football.