Perhaps, if you’re a like me, you yearn for a life less ordinary. Especially when my mood is as grey as an Irish Summer, when days blur together & weeks merge to months consumed by work & responsibility. Perhaps we feel life is being survived in black & white, rather than enjoyed in an array of colour.
When the best of our awake time is spent on things outside our control, & we want to travel lightly but we feel the weight of the everyday grind, we just want to step off the wheel.
Our perspective is altered by pressure & our days seem bland.
It’s God’s love that brings colour to our lives- indeed God’s presence brings us truly to life! It is He who breathes ‘extra’ into our ordinary.It is our relationship with God through Jesus that makes all the difference.
“It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.”(Ephesians 1:11-12 MSG)
Jesus said,”I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
(John 10:10 NIV)
Jesus said,“I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.”
(John 10:10 MSG)
“Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”
(John 17:3 NIV)
It is knowing God that makes life less ordinary ..from here to eternity!
It is God who created each of us for a unique purpose in His Grand Design. He placed us where he wanted us to be in time & space:
‘From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’
(Acts 17:26-28 NIV)
Living a less ordinary life requires us to seek God & reach out to Him though he is not far from any one of us. We need to choose the life He offers:
“Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life.”
(Deuteronomy 30:19 NIV)
When we do, He has promised:
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.”
(Psalm 32:8 NIV)
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
(Jeremiah 29:11-13 NIV)
These words are more than nice sentiments to put on a bookmark. They are a truth to hold onto when ‘ordinary’ life feels difficult. It is a promise given by God to His people at the worst of times.
On the Sunday morning I attended church in Singapore,the Anglican Minister preached from this verse & expanded its meaning in a way I’ve never heard before.
The Hebrew word for ‘plans’ is hama-ma-ha-sabat . It means exquisite design rather than technical plans. The same word is translated ‘ways’ in the following passage:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
(Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV)
Our life is less ordinary because our lives are the exquisite designs of our Creator God. God’s plans may be different to our ideas:
‘We can make our plans but the Lord determines our steps’
But ultimately His plans will transform our ordinary lives, to bring Him glory.When we grasp this truth, we can thrive in the mundane, & cope with the challenges of everyday life on planet earth. We can have hope in the dark times.
We can live our ‘ordinary’ lives in an extraordinary way with the help, grace & love of our Awesome God.
As we go through this week, consider:
‘What if you stepped into all that God created you to be?’
(Dr Jennifer Barnett)
‘Quit trying to fit. Why try to squeeze all your extraordinary into ordinary?’
‘The Lord is the strength of my life’ (Psalm 27:1)