In Search Of Ordinary Heroes
Updated: Jun 30, 2019
Think of the people you most admire. They were just regular people like you and me at one time, because God uses ordinary people. Throughout history ordinary people have changed their world because they trusted in an extraordinary God.
We look up to people like Harriet Tubman, Corrie Ten Boon, Rosa Parks and William Wilberforce for their amazing courage in the face of opposition, but they were not so very different from us. If you read their stories, you find they had fears and doubts and probably never dreamed that others would think of them as heroes.
Many people today want to believe that mankind is basically good, but reality paints a very different picture of our sinful and broken world. You don’t have to look far to see the many faces of evil. In 2016, the Global Slavery Index estimated 4.8 million adults were victims of forced sexual exploitation and 1.0 million children were victims of commercial sexual exploitation. This encompasses the use, procuring, or offering of children for prostitution or pornography, as per the International Labor Organization.
Many years ago, my employer sent me to Switzerland for some training. I picked up a tour guide booklet looking for an excursion to take on the weekends and was shocked to see an ad in English that had a phone number to call to get a boy or a girl to come to your hotel room. I had never heard of modern-day slavery before and couldn’t believe what I had read. I was in denial. It was unthinkable that it meant they were openly selling children for sex. I wish I could go back in time and speak up and ask the people at the places where the guides were displayed if they knew that the ad was in there, but I can’t.
It seems like an insurmountable task to think that we can have an impact on something as ominous as slavery, but sometimes being a hero for someone else can be as simple as speaking up for those who don’t have a voice.
Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel said in his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, “What all these victims need above all is to know that they are not alone; that we are not forgetting them, that when their voices are stifled we shall lend them ours, that while their freedom depends on ours, the quality of our freedom depends on theirs.”
Both Nehemiah and Esther were afraid, yet they risked their lives to speak up for others and God honored their bravery. (Nehemiah 2:1-3 and Esther 4:10-16).
Like them, the first thing we can do is pray.
1 - Confess your sins. - Don’t let unrepentant sin stand in the way of being used by God. This may include indifference to those in need around you.
2 - Pray for Compassion - Ask the Lord to move you for the things that are on His heart.
3 - Pray for Guidance – Ask the Lord to show you what He wants you to do.
Get involved – Take a step of faith. Have the courage to obey knowing He will give you all that you need. The Lord Jesus said, “Without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5b, and the apostle Paul reminds us, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13.
The church and the world desperately need people willing to hear and obey His voice. Calling all ordinary heroes, God wants to use you.