By Julia Martin
(Collect the following items—or images of the items if you have the means to display pictures on a screen: a day planner, a month page of a calendar with appointments filled in, a to-do list pad with the top page completely filled.)
Welcome! Who recognizes this? (Show the day planner and allow for a show of hands.) How about this? (Show the calendar page and again wait for hands to go up.) Ooooh, who has seen one of these before? (Show the to-do list.) All of us have encountered these items before; they are tools for organizing our lives. They keep track of the daily, mundane “have to dos.”
So, when you see these tools, what words spring to your mind? Task. Busy. Chore. Schedule. Maybe even overwhelmed? These calendars and planners aren’t just for keeping track of birthdays and vacations and days of celebration (although they might do that, too). They serve to catalog doctor’s appointments, work meetings, deadlines. This is how we know what to do today: laundry or dishes or picking up prescriptions or mowing the lawn . . . Whatever word you associate with this kind of tool, it is probably not rejoice.
And yet that is exactly what our God wants us to do. In the Book of Psalms, we are reminded, (read Psalm 118:24). Do you hear that? “Rejoice and be glad” (Psalm 118:24)!
“Well,” you might be thinking, “not this day. This day is just for paying bills, changing diapers, or updating my online passwords. This day is for driving back and forth, running errands, sitting in traffic for hours. This is just an ordinary day.”
The Bible tells us about women who lived ordinary lives. Job’s wife was raising a family and keeping a household. Miriam was just a young girl taking care of her baby brother, Moses. Lydia was gathering with friends for worship. Each of these women probably had a to-do list of some sort: laundry, work, cook, clean, babysit . . .
But we know that God was working in their lives. Through the ordinary life of Job’s wife, he showed his extraordinary power and the power of faith. God stepped into the ordinary lives of Miriam and Lydia, transforming their daily tasks into essential events as he built his Kingdom.
You see, God made this day. He created the whole world, everything in it, and every day on the calendar—not just the “special” days we look forward to. In Genesis, we learn that after making everything, God rejoiced in it! (Read Genesis 1:31.) The Bible doesn’t say, “God saw that it was good—except for Mondays and the month of January.” Even the ordinary present that we hurry through has been designed and gifted to us by our Creator.
God created and delights in this day—would it surprise you to hear that he created and delights in us, too? His love for you is so great that he sacrificed his only Son to bring you closer to himself. This is particularly extraordinary because every ordinary day, you do or say or think something that should separate you from God. You roll your eyes at a boring story your desk mate is telling (again). You gossip over the phone with another member of your book club. You offer to visit a sick friend, while fervently hoping she says, “Not today.” Our sin is real and constant, and no amount of good behavior could make up for it.
Yet God saw our sin and our inability to redeem ourselves. The Bible tells us, (read Romans 5:8). That’s truly extraordinary. God loves us—ordinary people living ordinary lives—so much that he gave up the life of his precious Son. Jesus, sinless, died the death that should have been ours, shouldering the punishment our sin earned us.
Our debt was paid. The insurmountable barrier that our sin created between God and us was demolished. When Jesus conquered death and rose again, he changed everything: we are children of God, treasured and forgiven and living with him forever.
What does this mean for you? Well, your ordinary life, your ordinary moments, your tasks, routines, and schedules are now infused with the magnificence of God’s grace. The now, the present of your life is extraordinary, not because of what you do—the items on your checklist or the appointments in your calendar—but because of what God has done for you.
So, we can delight in this regular day. (Reread Psalm 118:24.) Whatever your planner has in store for you today, whether it’s presenting at a board meeting or taking out the trash, today is God-made—and so are you! You never know what part of his story our extraordinary God is writing through your ordinary moments.
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Editor’s note: Today’s devotion is slightly adapted from the Ministry Message that accompanies the Ordinary Moments. Extraordinary God. line of products.