A few years ago I read this quote on the back of a HM Magazine and it impacted me so much that I wrote it down and kept it for years in my "quotes file":
"David was the youngest son of a shepherd, but he became the greatest king of Israel. Paul ardently persecuted the early church, but he became the one who would spread the Gospel to the Gentiles. Mary was an ordinary teenage girl who became the mother of the Messiah. There are times in our lives when things seem almost hopeless but God wants to use us all for great purposes. He does not look at our current condition, but at what we have the potential to become. We should view others and ourselves in the same way...We should try to view all things with the faith and hope that God can and will transform us into the people He wants us to be."
It's a good reminder to me that "things are not as they seem". Sometimes I know I can be cynical and think that because I can't see something happening that the ending has been written in stone. Well I've been learning more and more over the years that the exact opposite is true. God can do anything and often His work comes in the most unexpected ways and in situations we've written off as hopeless and lifeless. We follow and serve a God who cannot be fit into a box and with whom all things are truly possible.