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I live a mundane, ordinary life.
I’ve had mountaintop experiences – spiritual highs where I’ve been privileged to very visibly see God’s hand at work.
But, most of my life is filled with mundane moments.
Planning out another week of dinners. Changing a dirty diaper. Answering my preschooler’s twenty-sixth question before 8 am.
In the midst of the ordinary, it’s easy to long for the extraordinary. We wonder what life would be like if we weren’t standing here washing dishes.
The mundane drags on.
Yet, when we focus our attention on the “what ifs,” we miss the ways God works in the ordinary.
God is Sovereign Even In “Ordinary” Stories
One of the most beautiful love stories is the book of Ruth. We see Ruth, a young, widowed woman, following her mother-in-law, Naomi, back to Naomi’s home country of Israel.
They came to the country at the beginning of the barley harvest. Thanks to the laws God set apart for His people, Ruth found provision through the ordinary work of gathering grain dropped by reapers.
There was nothing miraculous about this work. It was hard labor, and yet, we see that God works in the ordinary.
“She happened to come.”
“So she set out and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers, and she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the clan of Elimelech.” – Ruth 2:3
In the midst of her hard, mundane work, God was doing something extraordinary.
God’s laws established another provision for widowed women, a kinsman-redeemer. Leviticus 25 describes a command for the brother of a deceased man to marry the widow in order to carry on the family name and property.
The field Ruth came upon happened to belong to her kinsman-redeemer, Boaz, and Boaz happened to return home from traveling, happened to notice Ruth, and happened to ask about her.
God sovereignly guided these ordinary events to bring about His extraordinary purpose.
Purpose in the Mundane
Continue reading the beautiful story of Ruth, through Ruth’s proposal, the conflict of another potential kinsman-redeemer, all the way to Ruth and Boaz marrying and conceiving their first child.
And there, there we see again God’s work in the ordinary.
And the women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, ‘A son has been born to Naomi.’ They named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.” – Ruth 4:17
“During the dark time of the judges when Israel’s future looked exceedingly grim, God quietly demonstrated His faithfulness to His wayward covenant people. He sovereignly orchestrated a series of events (a famine; the sudden, untimely deaths of three husbands; the surprising allegiance of a foreign daughter-in-law; and the rare kindness of a prosperous relative) to continue the family lineage through which the Messiah would one day come.”
God Works in the Ordinary of Our Lives
“When we return to the mundane world of everyday challenge, we can become disheartened. This is because we fundamentally tend to undervalue the power of ordinary spiritual life. We fail to grasp the reality that the ordinary Christian life is the result of the uncommon working of God’s Spirit. We need to eclipse the relatively rare mountaintop experience with a clearer vision of the vital, gracious, and personal nature of the Spirit’s ordinary work.”
Ruth’s story didn’t take place over a couple of days.
She lived a hard, but relatively ordinary life, yet it was shaped by God’s extraordinary purposes.
God works in the mundane moments of your life as well. Although it won’t be to continue the lineage of the birth of the Savior, He may use your daily faithfulness in the mundane to image His love toward your children and ultimately bring about their salvation.
He uses the ordinary moments to sanctify you, making you more like Him.
On this earth, you will never know the extent to which God’s sovereign control over your life has resulted in extraordinary purposes.
And that’s ok.
Mama, faithfully continue in the mundane moments knowing that God has a plan for each and every one of them.
Stop and take notice of the ordinary, praising God for His sovereignty, care, and love for them and you.
What would it look like for you to take notice of the mundane moments?
One way to start is to saturate yourself with the Word, meditating on the Scriptures as you go about your day. If you’re not sure how to do that, be sure to get one of the Redeeming Routines guides which enable you to think about, pray through, confess sin, and apply a chapter of the Bible each day.
“We need not be suspicious of what we feel in mountaintop experiences — but those feelings will fade. Instead, we must deepen our sense of wonder for the ordinary but uncommon gifts of God in all of life — especially the mundane.”
How Do You Take Notice of the Ways God Works in the Ordinary?
I’d love it if you would take the time to let me know in the comments.