Exceptionally Unexceptional

“Jesus told him, ‘Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe.’” – John 4:48

I pour my coffee and settle into my reading chair to gain my morning moment with Christ. I look out the window at my view of Pikes Peak surrounded by blue sky and set ablaze in sunrise pink and orange hues. I breathe in the smell of fresh coffee and fresh day. I love this time, this moment I am so zealous for. But this moment doesn’t come without difficulty.

This moment is a discipline.

Looking back over my faith life I begin to realize my faith has been crutched on miracle moments and mountaintop moments. I am beginning to see I am too reliant upon the “camp high” experiences to replenish my faith instead of having the gritty faith those like Abraham, David, John and Paul shared.

I need some grit.

In reading John 4 we see Jesus challenging the grittiness of the people’s faith. Jesus rebuked people for their dependency on the miraculous.

In looking back through my highlighted, underlined, and scribbled over version of “My Utmost for His Highest” I see a trend in the words I have been most drawn to. They are the words that challenge me to have extraordinary faith in ordinary circumstances.

The test of a man’s religious life and character is not what he does in the exceptional moments of life, but what he does in the ordinary times, when there is nothing tremendous or exciting on. The worth of a man is revealed in his attitude to ordinary things when he is not before the footlights.” – Oswald Chambers

So you mean I am to have desperate faith and trust in God when I’m driving to work? Yes.

So you mean I am to have desperate faith and trust in God when I’m cooking dinner? Yes.

So you mean I am to have desperate faith and trust in God when I’m cleaning the house? Doing laundry? Meeting new friends? Going to church? Paying bills? Or trying to articulate this thought-crazed brain?
Yes, yes and YES.

It was easy to be on my knees daily seeking God when I lived in Haiti. It seemed that my life had “purpose” (note the quotation marks). But what about when life is easy? Do I find myself on my knees crying out for my Savior amidst my crammed schedule and TV watching? (Yes I just called you out on how much time you spend in front of your box.)

I too easily forget that Jesus’ ministry didn’t begin until He was 30 years old. What in the world was He doing until then?? What about being a missionary, or a pastor, or working in ministry? Didn’t He do something that gave His life purpose?

Alas, I have fallen into the lie of believing what I do adds meaning to my life. Certainly, we are to work to bless and serve others, but our meaning and purpose comes from only one source: Jesus Christ and our relationship with Him.

So what was Jesus doing those 30 years prior to beginning His ministry work? He was living out His extraordinary faith in ordinary circumstances.

Jesus too had to eat, drink, sleep, work, study, form relationships, be baptized, practice the disciplines of reading the Holy text, praying, fasting, and all of those other things we must learn to do to the glory of God.

If Christ had to fight for the discipline of faith amidst His humanity, how much more do we, children of Adam?

I must remember I am to do all for the glory of God; even those things I find so unexceptional and routine (1 Corinthians 10:31).

I must remember the words of Chambers and know: “The goal of faithfulness is not that we will do work for God, but that He will be free to do His work through us.”

This means I must let go of all ideas I have of what is meaningful or purposeful and open my eyes to the truth that God is in all things. And if I can learn to glorify Him in my mundane Mondays and in my daily routine, how much more can I learn to glorify Him in those moments on the mount?

“We all have those times when there are no flashes of light and no apparent thrill to life, where we experience nothing but the daily routine with its common everyday tasks. The routine of life is actually God’s way of saving us between our times of great inspiration, which come from Him. Don’t always expect God to give you His thrilling moments, but learn to live in those common times of the drudgery of life by the power of God.” (My emphasis added.) – Oswald Chambers

Do you struggle with finding purpose in the small moments of life? Do you find it difficult to see the splendor of God against the lackluster backdrop of your schedule?

Dear friends, our lives can never be all about the moments of blazing light and shows of lightning. We must learn to live in the now and search out ways to glorify God in the middle of our daily routines, tasks and obligations. As you read this I pray for your eyes to be opened to the ways God moves even in the small details of our lives. I pray your fervor is sparked to flame as you begin to seek more and more of Him. I pray you see the heart of Christ as you drive to work, cook a meal, dress your children, clean your home, fix your car, and do all the other little things that create a life. I pray the Father will be speaking to you to remind you of His Ever-Presence and to remind you that all those little things you do are important. YOU are important, sweet friend. And finally, I pray we could move ourselves out of the spotlight enough to allow Christ to work through us, instead of fighting so hard to work for Him!

“So He got up from supper, laid aside His robe, took a towel, and tied it around Himself. Next, He poured water into a basin and began to wash His disciples feet and to dry them with the towel tied around Him.” – John 13:4-5

Comments

  1. I love reading your writings. They always touch my heart and make me take a look at my daily life.
    I hope things are going well for you . I think about you often and I’m so proud of you!!! Luv ya, Cindy Jordan

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