I am ordinary. There are things I’m good at, but I don’t have a remarkable genius the world ought to notice. I possess some influence, as we all do, but my circle of influence isn’t large. Though I try to be faithful, I don’t have some grand vision of how my life will change this world. And I am afraid.
I wrote recently about living according to fear or faith. This was a recurring theme in my life last month.
I thought seeking greater intimacy with God in prayer was an exercise in excellence—and it is—but I’m finding it’s also a battle between fear and faith. Fear says, “What if God doesn’t respond? What if I fail miserably today or tomorrow and forget to pray at all? What if this change doesn’t last?” You see, I have been praying that this exercise during February and March will not just be a temporary discipline in my life but will be the beginning of a life-long transformation.
In contrast, faith says, “God always responds to a humble prayer for help. If I fail, I will try again. God has already started a transformation in me, and He will be faithful to complete His good work in me.”
I had been praying for transformation in my prayer life and intimacy with God, but perhaps the true transformation I need is to become more a person of faith than of fear. How glad I am that God is in the business of transformation!
“When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13, NIV). It must have been fear that caused Peter and John to desert Jesus on the night of His arrest. It must have been fear that caused Peter to lie about knowing Jesus—not once, but three times. Here in Acts, these hardly seem like the same men. They are arrested, beaten, and threatened for preaching in Jesus’ name, yet they continue to spread the message.
Their time with Jesus continued to work in them after He returned to heaven. And the Holy Spirit empowered them to be bold and courageous.
Can God not do the same for me? And for you? And for every ordinary person out there? I can spend time with Jesus by reading His story and trying to practice His teaching. I have the same Holy Spirit to empower me.
God, I am an ordinary woman. Fill me with courage and faith, that others may note I have been with Jesus.