“When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” Acts 4:13
Ordinary – with no special or distinctive features, normal. Commonplace or standard.
I have recently discovered that right now we are in what is called Ordinary Time according to the church or liturgical calendar. If we defined this by our worldly standards it would not be very significant. The reason it is called Ordinary Time is quite the opposite of our understanding. It is a reflection of the quality of God as the Divine Orderer of Creation. It is meant to be a fruitful time.
January has become a time that people set new goals and recommit to old ones and it is to be a time of hope and new beginnings. Often though, people are blue after the holidays or feeling lost without all the busyness and people and celebrations. Ordinary Time is a time to reflect on how God intervenes in the world and brings His divine presence into the chaos of our life. It is an invitation to practice our faith and relationship with God in the quiet. This made me reflect and think that God is everything but ordinary yet He often works through people who are.
In the verse in Acts above Peter and John had been arrested and were being questioned by the chief priests and elders after they had healed a lame man. The council recognized them as ordinary men which in those days would mean not educated in some way. Kris Vallotton said,” Until you have done the ordinary, you don’t have a place to do the extraordinary.” God called Peter and John strategically to show His glory in their weakness.
Sometimes we only think things count if we have a story to tell. I believe that it is in these Ordinary Times that God is creating your story, it is in the seemingly ordinary things that you are training. Kris also said, that Jesus is going to look for you at your place of responsibility. He called Peter and John while they were fishermen, not after they got an education or became extraordinary, it was God in them that made them extraordinary. What has He given you responsibility for? Faith, family, job, school, ministry? He is waiting for you at that place.
My story today is a stomach bug and so my place has been bed, computer, bathroom x 50 and podcasts are my friend today. So I was challenged by this question in my ordinary time of being confined at home to what has God given me responsibility for. Top 3, my relationship with Him, my family and my ministry of encouragement. Today He met me in the middle of my bug and I could still write, still send notes to encourage as I learned more about Him and checked on my family. In and of themselves none of these things may seem extraordinary but God is in all of it so He adds that dimension.
I encourage you to let Ordinary Time open your heart to His dreams and desires for you this season. The world will be astonished that an ordinary person had been with Jesus and is doing extraordinary things.