The Glory of the Ordinary
In 2 Kings 5:1-14 we read about Naaman, the captain of the host of the king of Syria. The first verse simply and bluntly states, "He was a leper." In biblical times leprosy was a disease that meant certain, painful death. As horrible as this was, verse 2 quickly shows the remedyâ€”a little maid.
God used a captive little maid who waited upon Naaman's wife to bring deliverance to this great, famous and powerful man. She simply related that the prophet in her land had the power through her God to deliver him.
She was a slave. Nothing more than stolen property, owned by an enemy and yet God used her to bring a miracle into being through her testimony. The end of the story is that Naaman traveled to Elisha and dips seven times in muddy Jordan and leaves completely healed.
It never ceases to increase my faith at how our God uses the ordinary, simple, small, weak things of this life to confound the wise and bring His miracles into the light of all to see.
God uses a little maid and heals leprosy.
God's tool box is filled with the ordinary. Countless times in the Scripture He uses unnamed, inconsequential, seemingly unimportant, ordinary things and people to supply great miracles. Let me share just a few with you.
Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, in John 1:40-42 brings Peter to Jesus who is given the keys to open the door to the kingdom of God in Acts 2. Andrew never wrote a book of the Bible, it is never recorded he healed or performed miracles, it is never recorded he pastored a great church. But an ordinary man brings an extraordinary brother to Jesus and a miracle is born.
The woman at the well of Samaria was an unnamed woman who had been married more times than she cared to remember and living with a man who was not her husband. A woman whose life was in such disarray she came to the well at a time when she thought she would not be noticed. A woman who was living on the last rung of life and yet she meets Jesus, and by the time she is finished with her testimony, the whole town is coming down the hill to the well to see Jesus Christ.
Jesus sent His disciples into town to find an unnamed man with a water pitcher. When the disciples said, "The master saith unto thee, where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the Passover with my disciples?" this man already had the room furnished and prepared for them to use. The Lord performed a miracle using an ordinary man with a pitcher of water.
An unnamed boy who was carrying his lunch to a meeting where a man called Jesus was speaking is found by a disciple named Andrew. Isn't incredible how Andrew is involved in things that seem so ordinary but yet turn into great miracles? Andrew brings him to Jesus with his lunch. The lad came willingly and the Lord used the ordinary lunch of a small lad to feed 5,000. I have always believed that when they collected the twelve baskets of fragments, Jesus gave these back to the lad to take home with him. That is the Jesus I serve - give and it shall be given, heaped, pressed, shaken, and running over!
We read the account in Acts 9:23-25 of the Apostle Paul telling his testimony of what God had done for him on the road to Damascus. When the Jews took council to kill him, verse 25 tells us some unnamed disciples took him and let him down in a basket by ropes over the wall of the city to escape his enemies. Some ordinary disciples had to hold the ropes to deliver the Apostle who was to write over half of the New Testament and reach all of Asia with the gospel of Jesus Christ!
With all of these examples I come to my simple point. Sometimes people feel if they are not in the front of the line, or speaking from the pulpit, or the leader of the band that they do not really count in God's or man's eyes. Let me set the record straight - God uses the ordinary to bring His greatest miracles where he will receive all the glory and honor.
You may feel what you are doing, by your simple giving to God and the work of missions, does not really count. I want to encourage you that when it is put into the hands of God He will bless it, break it and provide for the thousands of hungry souls who are crying out to Him! Everything you give, everything you do, everything you say matters to God and He can take what feels so ordinary and make it into a great miracle of blessing.
God took a rod and delivered Israel from bondage! God took hornets and hailstones and killed more of Israel's enemies than they ever killed by the sword! God took an ox goad and killed 600 men and delivered Israel! God took the jawbone of an ass and killed 1,000 Philistines! God took a widow's oil and meal and sustained her for three years of a drought. God took a cloud the size of a man's hand and brought an abundance of rain on the land of Israel! God took a sling and killed a giant and delivered Israel from the enemy!
God has always used the ordinary to bring about the great and powerful miracles to bring glory to His name! So my question is simply this - Do you feel ordinary and unnamed among a world of 6.4 billion? If so God wants to use you and what you have to bring about a great miracle!
I do not give because I have a lot. I give what I have knowing that my God will put His hand upon it and make it what I cannot. He will take the simple, weak, ordinary and make it confound the world and its wisdom by bringing about a great miracle from His hand!
God can use your giving to reach a soul. God can use your going to reach a nation. God can use your doing to touch the world. Let God use the ordinary and watch what He can do!