Extraodrinary People in Ordinary Places

Do you ever feel like you are a plain person, in a very plain place?

Do you fall into a rut comparing and contrasting yourself to others who seem to be doing extraordinary things in extraordinary places?

Do you ever find yourself discouraged that you are not doing “more” in your life or with your life?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are not alone.  I am guilty of answering yes to all of these questions.  Sometimes one at a time and sometimes all at the same time.

I am a plain person in a plain place.

100_4353But you know what, in the end, it’s just a bunch of plain crazy talk.

Webster defines ordinary to mean the regular or customary condition or course of things.

NONE OF US ARE ORDINARY!

Not one of us is regular or customary.  We’re 100% individually customized.  Here’s the truth from God’s Word, the Bible,

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.Genesis 1:27 (NIV)

We are each made in God’s image.  We all reflect God.  Our God is so awesome, so amazing, so phenomenal that all of us can reflect His image, and at the same time we can all be different.  As we place our faith in Jesus Christ and as we receive the Holy Spirit something more extraordinary happens.

“Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.”  1 Corinthians 12:7 (NIV)

We receive spiritual gifts.  Each of us receives a unique gift to match the uniqueness that we were designed with.  Webster defines the word extraordinary as employed for or sent on a special function or service.

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”   1 Peter 4:10 (NIV)

Take Away Truths 

  • Each of us is created in God’s image, distinct in our reflection of Him
  • Once we have chosen Jesus as our Lord & Savior, we are bestowed with a spiritual gifting that is also distinctive to us.
  • We are each called to be stewards of God’s grace, appointed to oversee the provision and distribution of divine gifts into our natural world.

I would say that makes each of us amazingly extraordinary.

You are an EXTRAORDINARY PERSON!

Now how about where we have been placed?  Where are you at?  For most of us it is in a regular or customary place.

God had us enter this world with a mother and a father, connecting us in some way to a family.  There are people around us some we are related to, many we are not.  There are daily tasks of cleaning, meal preparations, work to earn provisions for ones self & family.  All pretty ordinary.

Now when God decided it was time to put on flesh and all its constraints to walk amongst His beloved and extraordinary people, He came into the same kind of ordinary that we face.  The family.  The people.  The daily concerns.  He came in the middle of it all.  But Christ did something really amazing when He walked among us.  He was extraordinary at living out the ordinary.

Jesus sits at a well where a Samaritan women comes every day in her ordinary town to draw ordinary water for her ordinary day (John  4).  Jesus speaks with her.  A Jew converses with a rejected Samaritan woman.  That alone shows how extraordinary Jesus was.  Jesus reveals all the details of her & her life that he so tenderly loves and holds in his heart.  Loving her despite her track record of brokenness.  He offers her God’s grace and the water of eternal life.  Then Jesus reveals himself to her as the Messiah who has been foretold.

The Samaritan woman realizes the gift she has been given from Jesus and returns to her ordinary place in the world to share her gift.  She has received grace and is going to be the best steward that she can, passing it along & distributing it to those she lives among.

Extraordinary People in Ordinary Places

So many of Jesus’ directives and words were about being extraordinary people in ordinary places.

“And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”  Matthew 10:42 (NIV)

“And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me” Matthew 18:5 (NIV)

“Love your neighbor as yourself.”  Matthew 22:39 (NIV)

“Feed my sheep.”  John 21:17 (NIV)

Give a cup of cold water, welcome children, love a neighbor, feed the sheep.  All ordinary things to do in ordinary places, but when extraordinary people do these things with the grace they have been given, extraordinary love flows from Heaven into our broken and hurting world.

You are an EXTRAORDINARY PERSON!

Even though we are each extraordinary people, it does not mean that we will always feel like extraordinary people.  There are times where we will feel absolutely ordinary.  In some cases, we may even feel so ordinary that we begin to feel unimportant.  We may even ponder if anyone would notice our absence if we were suddenly gone.  It is at these times where we all need to be reminded of how extraordinary we are.

So how are we reminded of this?  A good place to start is to get in the Scriptures and read truth.  Another good way is to pray, communicate with your Maker and Savior.  Speak & listen to what He wants to share specifically with you.  Let other extraordinary people in your life.  This is a really hard thing to do because people are extraordinary and wonderful, but relationships with them can be complex and messy.  But, oh is it worth it.

Imagine for a moment, my dear reader, that we are sharing conversation and enjoying a cup of coffee together.  I tell you about something that is just breaking my heart, a need that has arisen in my life.  I describe how empty it is making me feel.  Low and behold as you are listening to this you have a divine prompting in your heart because you just realized that you have the provision to meet this need I am describing.

Notice in my story that I did not mention what my need was?  Needs can vary just as much as gifts can vary.  My need could be something so small – a word of encouragement, someone to pick my daughter up from school, time to go to the grocery store myself – or it could be larger need – a financial need, an accountability partner, an assistant in my ministry work.

Regardless of the size of the need, you have a decision to make in this moment.  Are you going to distribute to me what you have been given or will you let the moment pass?

You take courage that this prompting means something and decide to go for it.  So as I pause, almost lost in my thoughts, you burst forth in an extraordinary way in this ordinary place and meet my need.  Tears overcome me as God’s grace, which you have been a good steward of, is given to me in just the form that I need.

Then I have a decision to make, to I accept what you are graciously willing to give or do I decline opting instead to try to continue to do it on my own?

All these decisions and unknowns can make relationships so complicated.  When you pile on emotions, desires, backgrounds and paradigms created by past experiences it is easy to see why conflict is so prevalent in relationships.

Let’s just say for example that I let down my pride and graciously accept the gifts that you are offering.  I feel the love that you are pouring upon me.  How would you feel?

Something divine and extraordinary just happened.

Widen the scope of our scene with me.  It is a normal coffee house.  Employees are tending to customers.  Tables are being filled and then cleared.  Traffic is flowing on the street outside.  People are coming and going, tending to the tasks of the day.  Would anyone hardly notice the exchange we are having at our table?  Probably not.  It’s just an ordinary place on an ordinary day.

But in my heart, marked for all my days will be the moment that you showed yourself as an extraordinary person.  You made a difference in my life by pouring God’s grace upon me.  Your actions, your motives and the desire in your heart just for offering has stored up treasures for you in Heaven.  Treasures that will not be forgotten.  They are not nicknacks set on a shelf, collecting dust, lost for all time.  They are captured in God’s book of life, you are earmarked to be remembered for all of eternity as one extraordinary person.

I know this is not the way it plays out in life.  Sometimes our gifts are rejected.  Sometimes we are slandered for even offering.  Sometimes we are taken advantage of, assuming this gift is the first of many future gifts to be paid in the same way.  Sometimes we doubt and do not offer.  Sometimes we are distracted and never even hear the need.  Sometimes we are just too busy to take the time for coffee with a friend.

While our pasts give us something to learn from, have shaped where we are in this instant, and may be scattered with moments where we did not act extraordinarily, they do not prohibit us from being able to be extraordinary in this occasion or in events that we will face in the future.

You are an EXTRAORDINARY PERSON!

What is it you have to do today?  How can you show yourself as extraordinary in your ordinary place?

You are an extraordinary person!  You may be in an ordinary place with ordinary tasks to do, but when you bring but you bring your extraordinary self to those places and pour out your extraordinary self to those tasks, then extraordinary grace & love shall flow through you from our extraordinary Lord.

As I sit at my ordinary desk, in my ordinary home and type away on my ordinary computer I need you to know, dear reader, how extraordinary you are to me; that you would give of your precious time to read my ordinary words.  To me, that makes you extraordinary.  Thank you.  Thank you so very much!

Beloved and Precious Lord,

Thank You so much for all of the extraordinary people that You have so generously given to me in my life.  Oh Lord, how I have messed up and made mistakes with so many.  Please wash my eyes that I may be more aware of the awesomeness of who You have created those around me to be.  Thank You so much for all the gifts of Your Grace that have been shown to me over my life through the faithful stewards that I have met along my path. 

Lord, I pray for each person who reads this, may they know in their hearts as well as their minds, how extraordinary they are.  May they have the courage to walk into ordinary places, to live in ordinary places, to work in ordinary places and to be extraordinary in those places.  May they come to You and may You send them faithful stewards when they are discouraged or have needs to be met.  May they be brave enough to let others into their lives and to be helped along the way. 

May we all feel Your love & grace pouring upon us from others and filling us from the Spirit within.  May it all flow from us as praise and thanksgiving to the glory of Your name.

In the extraordinary name of Jesus, amen.   

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One comment

  1. Sherri Anderson · · Reply

    Very nice job Julie! I am proud of you!

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