Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these.” (1 Sam. 16:10)

“SHE’LL NEVER MAKE IT past second grade,” the specialist said. “These kids rarely do.” Refusing to believe such news, Aunt Sue spent hours teaching Carrie how to write, read, and learn math. She enrolled Carrie in karate, gymnastics, and a top-notch elementary school. Defying expectations, Carrie excelled. She earned a black belt, won gold in the Special Olympics, and now stood beaming onstage as a proud high school graduate. Unlike the specialist, Aunt Sue recognized Carrie’s potential.

Samuel, the only member of God’s search committee, traveled to Bethlehem on a mission to choose one of Jesse’s sons as Israel’s future king. Jesse, father of eight sons, lacked the same skill as Carrie’s modern-day specialist—seeing potential. But God is an expert at that. Through Samuel, God rejected handsome Eliab and all the other sons. Stature, credentials, and experience failed to impress. God didn’t choose a power broker, scholar, or prince to lead His people. Instead He selected David, the youngest and least accomplished of the group. “I look at the heart,” the Lord reminded Samuel.

God ignored the myopia of others. He knew David would guide and govern Israel with the same courage and wisdom he had afforded his flock. Whether a shepherd boy, a child with Down syndrome, or a person like you and me—God recognizes the potential of a heart dedicated to Him.

Pray for God to change an area of your life that could better reflect your faith in Him.

Tammy Kennington is a preschool director and literacy intervention specialist. Tammy enjoys playing board games with her husband and four children.