Tuesday, July 12, 2016

For The Days You Feel Overwhelmingly Ordinary

Do you know what caught my eye the other morning?
The lists of genealogy in the Bible. (Odd. I know.)
I usually skip those sections because I prefer non-boring, but this time the name-after-name drew me in. And I felt something.
Let me explain.
So we love to read stories about the BIG PLAYERS in the Bible - brave people who did BIG THINGS in God’s name. We want to be like these all-stars.
But tucked in and around these big stories are lists. Names. Descendants. Aunts and uncles and cousins. Parents and sons and daughters. Families. Lineage. Heritage.
I know these lists have historical value, but they spoke differently to me.
Who were these people mentioned briefly only by name? What were their jobs? Or hobbies? How many hours did they spend washing clothes, cooking meals, or chasing little ones? Take Moses - a man who found the courage to follow God, oppose a powerful leader, and walk a nation of slaves through a parted sea to freedom. Gargantuan stuff. But I wondered about his lineage. How many people with a lifetime of ordinary played a part in his big story? Did courage run in his family? We know his mom had the strength to put baby Moses in a basket and floated him down the Nile River to save his life. His sister followed the basket and when Moses was found and adopted by the Pharaoh’s daughter, boldly offered to find a nursemaid. (His own mom.) Did those stories build courage in Moses? Were Moses’ mom and sister brave because of their lineage? Did Moses have a great-great-grandma who prayed incessantly for a strong family? Was his great-grandpa a good man who worked hard, loved his family, and sheltered his home with stability? Was his grandma a kind, loving mother? Did her kids feel strength to be bold because they always knew they could come home to her quiet force, encouragement and comfort food? Did a lineage of everyday strength and consistency lead to a mom bold enough to hide her son, a sister strong enough to speak up, and a man who freed a nation?
Perhaps a secret to seeing God move is to look past the glory moments to the lineage of ordinary people. Generations passing down traits, learning from each other, cultivating positivity and growing from the hard stuff. In this rhythm of genealogy, the everyday feels vital. And intentional. Like God placed each person in their line with great care. He wants certain characteristics and qualities passed from one generation to the next. 
The lists make me feel God’s words: “I am.” (Exodus 3:14)
I am the creator.
I am the orchestrator of life.
I am purposeful.
I am all-knowing.
I specifically placed you right here, right now with your unique characteristics, gifts and talents. It was purposeful, so go. Spread my love. Be my image bearer here on earth. Do ordinary well. Walk today knowing who you are and what you are called to do.
Be faithful in the little things, because…
…you never know what big things I might do in your life...
...or the daily impact I am making through you…
…on the people around you…
...and on the generations who will follow.
Because, I am here everyday - moving and working in the incredibly significant ordinary.

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