Ordinary People… Extraordinary God

There’s a story about a Sunday School student who couldn’t wait to tell his parents their lesson one Sunday after class: “So the Israelites were slaves in Egypt and then Moses used some really cool special effects to scare Pharaoh into letting them go: he made it look like there were swarms of bugs and frogs, and used food coloring to change the water this blood red color! So Pharaoh lets them go and the Israelites formed a convoy out of Egypt! And then Pharaoh changes his mind and sends the Egyptian army after them! And then the Egyptians chased the Israelite convoy in tanks! So Moses scrambled the Israeli Air Force to delay the tanks! And Moses also ordered the engineers to deploy a pontoon bridge across the Red Sea! And just as the Israelites made it safely across the bridge, the Egyptians started across the bridge in their tanks, but Moses gave the order and the Israeli Air Force bombed the bridge and sank the Egyptian Army!”
The boy’s mom asked her son, “Is that the way your Sunday School Teacher really taught it?!” The boy responded, “Nah – but if I had told you her version of the story, you’d have never believed it!”
Sometimes as we reflect on these Bible stories and the characters we meet in them it can be really hard for us to make connections to our lives today. The stories often seem larger than life as we read of the mighty heroes of both the Old and New Testaments. These heroes of the Bible to us might as well be superheroes as most often we believe that we are nothing like them. We think that while God can use great men and women of faith Noah, or Abraham and Sarah, or Moses, or David, or Mary for great things, we somehow feel disqualified to be used similarly by God because our faith seems so small by comparison.
But what we fail to recognize is that each of these Bible heroes, in some big ways and many small, were just as human and vulnerable and sinful as you and me. God does not call the equipped so much as he equips those whom he calls. He chooses ordinary people like you and me to work through and deliver his grace, glory, and power here on earth. Paul makes this clear in 2 Corinthians 4:7: “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”
Let’s not forget that we are all simple, ordinary, frail vessels within which God entrusts the treasure of his Gospel, so that it may be clear as we go about our daily lives as disciples of Jesus and ambassadors of the Kingdom of God, that the extraordinary power that comes through the Gospel is truly from God, and not us!
Pastor Bryce Formwalt is the Director of Mission Growth for the LCMC Texas District. Residing in Georgetown, Pastor Bryce is available to coach congregations on mission. Feel free to contact him with any questions or comments: 512-942-7776 or bryce@lcmctexas.org.
© 2018 Bryce J. Formwalt, All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission.
May 2018

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