“Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth.” James 5: 17
There is a really simple verse in the Bible that I love; it says “Elijah” was a man just like us. Can you believe that?
One of the most esteemed prophets in the whole Bible, the one entrusted by God to bring good news to the world, was just a normal human. He had friends, he ate meals, he laughed, he sinned, and he even got the hiccups. He was probably pretty ordinary until God stepped in.
Most of us believe this could never be us. We aren’t the ones that the Lord wants to use to do something incredible in His unfolding story. But that’s not true- God is waiting and wanting to use us.
The world tells us that to be useful we must be the best- we need to be the prettiest, the smartest, the most creative. But the gospel turns everything we think we know about the world and flips it all on its head. God doesn’t need us to be the best at anything to use us; He just needs us to be available.
If you look back through the Bible, God doesn’t use the most attractive and incredible people - He uses the one who are open to being used. Moses had a speech impediment and yet he led the Israelites out of Egypt and saved a nation. David was just a young boy but he was able to defeat the giant. Paul certainly wasn’t perfect. He was a persecutor of Christians- but once he gave his life to Jesus, he opened up his life to available to God and now we know him for writing over half of the New Testament.
A lot of times, we let the ordinary parts of our lives hinder us from believing all that God has for us. We can’t believe that such an unbelievable and perfect God would want to love and use such an imperfect person like us. But God doesn’t see us like that. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus, God views us in complete right standing with Himself and is eager to invite us into his plans.
God uses the ordinary to do the extraordinary.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to settle for a life of normalcy. I want to live a life of excitement and adventure. At first, that seems like a lot of pressure. How does a normal girl find a way to make her life add up to something of great worth? Thankfully, because of Jesus we don’t have to! We just have to open our hearts and lives to listen to what God has for us.
In the Psalms we learn that God cares about the most ordinary of things, even the birds. He lets the sparrow, one of his plainest creations, build a nest near the altar of the almighty God. If God is willing to let the tiniest sparrow in on His extraordinary presence, how much more so will He come through for his children?
God wants to use all of us. The more we open our hearts up to God, the more glory God gets as He uses our lives to magnify Himself. So let’s set up our nests, our homes, our lives near the altar of Jesus and make ourselves available to Him. In the end, we might just find our ordinary selves in the middle of something extraordinary.