God Chooses the Weak: Celebrating Caleb and His Example- Shades of Grace | Natalie Nichols

God Chooses the Weak: Celebrating Caleb and His Example

Today is World Down Syndrome day — the perfect day to tell you about a young man named Caleb and how God has used him to preach volumes.

(I’m interrupting our series on God’s Sovereign Rule to celebrate this special day. Besides, I believe God has a message for you sent through Caleb…)

Several weeks ago I had the privilege of seeing my friend’s son, Caleb, be baptized at church. A teenager now, Caleb has Down Syndrome.

God Chooses the Weak: Celebrating Caleb and His Example

Caleb and his mother, Paulette.

Standing in the baptismal waters, Caleb was asked who Jesus is to him.

“He’s my Savior, my Lord, my friend,” Caleb answered.

His speech is slurred and a little hard to understand. So the man baptizing him repeated Caleb’s words so that we were sure to catch them. And boy was I glad, because Caleb preached a short sermon that day!

When Caleb stood up out of the water, the auditorium erupted in loud cheers, shouts, and applause.

I had no idea Caleb was going to be baptized that day. It was a surprise that brought me to tears. I’ve never cried at a baptism like I cried that day.

I don’t think I’ll ever forget it either. Growing up the daughter of a pastor, I’ve seen, and sadly forgotten, a lot of baptisms. But Caleb’s is etched in my memory forever … because of his powerful witness.

Caleb’s Worship

Then there was this past Sunday morning. As the worship team led the congregation in song, we could all hear Caleb lifting his sweet voice in praise.

Even though there were hundreds of people in attendance, you could hear Caleb above everyone else. How so? When the congregational singing paused, Caleb was still singing. He was a few words behind everyone else. We had all stopped for a breath, but Caleb was just finishing his phrase.

Caleb’s pitch is a bit monotone… but I’ve never heard more beautiful worship in my life!! The sound of it beats Kari Jobe and Chris Tomlin any day, hands down!

You see, we’re all a Caleb in Jesus’ eyes. We all have our imperfections. Yet Jesus loves unconditionally and welcomes us with open arms. Our praise may be marred with one flaw or another, but it’s the heart that He hears.

The simplicity of Caleb’s faith is what speaks the loudest to me. Caleb’s love for Jesus is pure. It’s not complicated by attempts to earn His affection. He doesn’t approach God with pretense. His worship isn’t tainted with fake airs. Caleb means what he says and says what he means.

If only we could all be that real, that pure and genuine before God. 

It was an example, and a sermon, I badly needed. It reminded me that it’s the pure in heart who see God.

“Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.”

Matthew 5:8

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The sermon from the pastor that day was plenty convicting. And the worship team did a phenomenal job — even changing things up with an intimate, acoustic set of songs that just ‘happened’ to express the cry of my heart that day.

But I received the most from hearing Caleb’s voice across the auditorium. That is what left the deepest, most lasting impact on my life—and spoke the loudest sermon to my heart.

Your Weakness, God’s Instrument

Like Caleb, our weakest trait—our greatest imperfection, the thing that we’re most embarrassed about—could not only be the thing of greatest beauty to God, it could also be the thing God uses most greatly to impact others.

Your greatest imperfection—the weakness you’re
most embarrassed about—could not only be the thing of
greatest beauty to God, it could also be the thing He
uses most greatly impact others.

Click to tweet TWEET THIS God's sovereign rule

Caleb’s example reminded me that God chooses the weak things of this world to shame the strong:

“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him” (1 Corinthians 1:27-29).

Caleb is making a huge difference in this world. God is using him to impact people for His kingdom, wouldn’t you agree?! 

None of Us Lives to Himself Alone

The Bible teaches that we are made in the image of God and therefore, every human life is sacred. According to Psalm 139, we are fearfully and wonderfully made. God knit us together in our mother’s womb. Every life is precious and important to Him. Human beings, no matter how small, weak, dependent, how young, or how old possess inherent dignity and intrinsic worth.

Caleb is a living example of Romans 14:7:

“None of us lives to himself alone
and none of us dies to himself alone.”
Romans 14:7

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God created each of us to glorify Him and to accomplish a Kingdom purpose on this earth. We have a false ideal in our mind when it comes to the people who are fit for this mission—and sadly, it rarely includes people with disabilities.

But I’ll bet the people with disabilities like Down Syndrome impact those around them far more, and accomplish far more for the Kingdom, than those of us who think we’re the most fit candidates to do so.

None of us—those with so-called “quality” of life and those without—lives in a vacuum. Every life impacts another!

Sixty-seven percent of babies diagnosed with Down Syndrome in the U.S. are aborted, a study showed.

These people, whose lives were tragically ended by abortion, were created by God for a remarkable purpose on this earth. God didn’t intend that those lives be lived for themselves alone.

When a life is ended through abortion, we are the ones who suffer. We are the ones who would have been impacted by their presence on this earth—just like Caleb impacted me.

If we could see through God’s end-of-time perspective, we’d see that those whose lives seem less than perfect according to temporal standards are actually adding more value to this world than can possibly be measured—more than the “perfect” people are adding. They are a treasure to God and to us, too. They should not only have a right to live, their lives should be celebrated.

More TweetablesTweetables

  • “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” ~ Matthew 5:8 Click to tweet Tweet
  •  Your greatest imperfection—the weakness you’re most embarrassed about—could not only be the thing of greatest beauty to God, it could also be the thing He uses most greatly to impact others. Click to tweet Tweet
  • “God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” ~ 1 Corinthians 1:27
    Click to tweet Tweet
  • “None of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone.” ~ Romans 14:7 Click to tweet Tweet


  • Has Caleb inspired you to live purely and simply before God — to throw off pretense and fake airs? 
  • What do you feel is your weakest trait? What is your greatest, most embarrassing imperfection? Has it occurred to you that it could be not only the thing of greatest beauty to God, it could also be the thing God uses to most greatly impact others?




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One Response to “God Chooses the Weak: Celebrating Caleb and His Example”

  1. Jessica says:

    Please keep writing!

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