Are you willing to be ordinary for God?
WEEK 9 – Celebrating 100 Years of Oswald Chambers
VERSE: “…in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses.” (2 Corinthians 6:4)
OSWALD: “It takes Almighty grace to take the next step when there is no vision and no spectator – the next step in devotion, the next step in your study, in your reading, in your kitchen; the next step in your duty, when there is no vision from God, no enthusiasm and no spectator.
It takes far more of the grace of God, far more conscious drawing upon God to take that step, than it does to preach the Gospel.” (My Utmost for His Highest – March 6th)
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How It Spoke to Me
Ah, the ordinary. The mundane. The boring minutiae of life.
Can I be faithful where God places me though I sense no glow of revelation, no constant sense of His presence? Can I serve God when He doesn’t speak or visibly direct?
Can I offer my day to Him as a love gift though there seems nothing of any eternal value to which I can point. Nothing but a part-way clean house, half-finished laundry and story time with a child?
Serving in the shadows rather than the limelight can be one of the most challenging parts of our Christianity.
I read this poem, by Ruth Harms Calkin, as a young mom. It has stayed with me and challenged me for years:
You know, Lord, how I serve You
With great emotional fervor
In the limelight.
You know how eagerly I speak for You
At a women’s club.
You know how I effervesce when I promote
A fellowship group.
You know my genuine enthusiasm
At a Bible study.
But how would I react, I wonder
If you pointed to a basin of water
And asked me to wash the calloused feet
Of a bent and wrinkled old woman
Day after day
Month after month
In a room where nobody saw
And nobody knew.
Ruth Harms Calkin
Serving God In the Ordinary
It’s easy to forget that, in God’s economy, the small things count the most.
A cup of cold water given in His name. A coat offered to a shivering soul. Kindness to a child, a widow, a stranger.
I’m coming to believe that it is the ordinary acts of daily obedience that bring God as much joy as the times we step out in faith and seem to walk on water.
“The thing that really testifies for God…in the long run,” Oswald says in the updated version, “is steady perseverance, even when the work cannot be seen by others.”
When I assume that God is only interested in the “big” things – the more visible overflow of a holy life – I miss the sacredness of the ordinary. I ignore the opportunities all around me to be faithful. To be available. To be willing to do what we view as “little,” but what God sees as much.
“Never allow yourself to think that some tasks are beneath your dignity or too insignificant for you to do,” Oswald advises, reminding us of Jesus’s example in John 13.
Something miraculous happens when I receive the everyday-ness of my life as a gift. For God wants to use it all…Where I see only an impromptu phone call, a casual hug, or a spontaneous smile, the person on the receiving end may perceive answered prayer. The voice of God, and the arms of their Savior. Click To Tweet
So rather than attempting to walk on water or trying to determine how God might use us best, perhaps we should spend more time simply abandoning all we are to Him. Offering our lives to Him each day.
Willing to be His hands and feet. His arms and His heart. Though all we may seem to do each day is wash dishes and sing lullabies. Or sell real estate and answer emails. Or any of the zillions of duties that make up our lives.
We do it all as unto the Lord. Working with all our might (Colossians 3:23). For Him and to Him.
“Never consider whether you are of use,” Oswald writes in his March 4th entry, “but ever consider that you are not your own but His.”
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I’d love to hear from you…What ordinary act is God asking you to serve Him in today?