Everyone except me.
As a child I was chunky and slow, clumsy and uncoordinated. As the teams would start to line up on the playground, dread would fill my heart. Each time a captain would look over the group to pick a team member, my hopes would soar, and each time my hopes would be turned into disappointment as someone else's name was called. Finally, I would be the only one left and the last captain would be forced to reluctantly take me on as a liability for their team.
I grew up both fearing not being chosen and being familiar with the feeling as well. Now to be fair, there were a couple of times I was chosen during my school years. I was chosen as the editor of my high school yearbook and I was in a singing group -- not the "A" group, or the "B" group, or even the "C" group, but not rejected entirely!
What a joy for me then to read these verses in Ephesians:
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: " (Ephesians 1:3,4)
Chosen, finally, I am chosen!
Ah, but let me read it again, lest my heart - like those athletic boys on the childhood playground -- turn to pride. "Chosen us in Him". Chosen in Him. I was chosen because of my relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Not because of my merit, my skill or my goodness, only because I was found "in Him".
After the Lord told Noah to build the ark, those that went into the ark with him were saved from the flood. "And Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark."(Genesis 7:23) His sons and their wives and his wife were safe because of their relationship to Noah. It was Noah who had "found grace in the eyes of the LORD" and "walked with God." (Genesis 6:8,9)
Noah and his ark are a shadow of the greater truth, that I have grace and mercy with the Father because I am found in the Lord Jesus by "redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace;" (Ephesians 1:7)
I may not have been chosen for all those teams on those playgrounds so long ago, and many tears were shed in my heart for that. But Hallelujah, I have been chosen in Him, and how much greater, how much sweeter, how much more wonderful to be a part of Him for all eternity.
"But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption." 1Corinthians 1:30