This morning water surges through streets, elevator shafts, train stations and all manner of places it was never meant to go. Hurricane Sandy struck with a vengeance and keeps hammering the mid-Atlantic coast. No doubt the next few days will produce many unlikely heroes – ordinary people doing extraordinary things for their fellow man. As they are interviewed many will humbly state they were merely in the right place at the right time doing what they knew they should do. Some will give coincidence the credit and others will acknowledge God for empowering them with mental clarity and strength.
I love watching God work. Don’t you? Jesus reminds His disciples and us in John 16 that, “Here on this earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart because I have overcome the world.” His Spirit has always empowered ordinary believers like you and me to do extraordinary things.
One of my favorite ordinary people of the Bible is a young girl in 2 Kings 5. You may have missed her because the surrounding story is so miraculous. It’s the story of the leper Naaman who goes to see the prophet, Elisha, and is healed after dipping in the Jordan River seven times. But, take a closer look at this little Israelite girl. She had been taken captive in a raid on Israel and had become a slave to Naaman’s wife. However, she was the one who knew about God’s prophet Elisha. Her faith and love for others motivated her to suggest to her mistress that Naaman go to Elisha for healing. Naaman went and subsequently put his faith in the one true God. Did God want this girl to be taken away from her home land? I don’t know. Did He enjoy seeing her become a slave? I doubt it. Did He care for her? Absolutely! Did her faith give her comfort and joy in the midst of great trial? Indeed! Her seedling faith had overgrown her heart and could not be contained. It spilled out on everyone around her. It was contagious, unmistakable and extraordinary. She had made the most of her circumstances. Even though this was not the life she would have freely chosen, it was the one that catapulted her from ordinary to extraordinary. It provided the vehicle to demonstrate the powerful presence of an Almighty God who prepares His children to handle even the most stressful situations with grace.
What’s your trial today? Whatever it is know that God has already prepared you to be exactly where you are. Good or bad. If you have placed your faith in Him you are equipped to handle whatever comes along. Sit quietly for just a moment and listen carefully to what He is telling you. He has great plans for you and your story. You may only be walking by candlelight right now, but that flicker may illuminate someone else’s path. Keep your eyes on Jesus and don’t be afraid to follow Him. Step where He steps, knowing He’s stepped in some mighty big potholes and always climbed out on the side of peace. Follow His path and others will want to follow.
Author, Lysa TerKuerst, said on her facebook page something I love. She said, “God’s girls (and even guys) have a beautiful promise tucked in our pocket that lets us smile even when tears puddle in the corner of our eyes.” It’s that promise that turns our ordinary into extraordinary. So, today, go find a Naaman and lead him to the Great Physician.