Guest Writer Series
I am pleased to introduce a guest writer for this week’s post, Jelise Ballon. Jelise and I met last summer at a writers and speakers conference. As we shared our passion for writing our friendship formed. Her blog is found at neitherheightnordepth.com. Jelise’s gift of turning life experiences into lessons about God’s love and grace is an encouragement to many. I’m delighted she is sharing her gift with us this week. Thanks Jelise!
When God Creates Extraordinary Out of
The Everyday Ordinary
Do you ever feel like God is calling you to do extraordinary things, but then you look around and feel like your life is as ordinary as they come? I know I do. And sometimes that call in my heart leads to dissatisfaction in my daily life. I imagine whatever it is God’s calling me for, it can’t possibly look like this.
By day, I work in corporate marketing for a big IT company. While it’s mostly been a rewarding and successful career, I never really planned to be here. Late at night, as I lie awake in bed, I hear God whispering into my heart, calling my name, and I wonder how my daily work is amounting to much of anything special. I wonder why He’s calling me: a wife and mother of three, with a regular old corporate job. I’m not a Bible scholar; I didn’t go to seminary; I’m not on the front lines of the mission field. Yet I feel it vibrate through my entire being – God is calling my name.
I will tell you honestly, I’ve struggled for much of the last two years thinking there must be something more God wants me to do. Some way to serve Him that’s bigger and bolder! While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to serve God in big and bold ways, the problem comes when you use a worldly definition of “big” and “bold” and miss what God has put right in front of you. That’s where I was up until last month when I attended a Christian women’s conference. It was during this weekend that I finally woke up and heard God say “look for the everyday opportunities to minister, and I will use them in extraordinary ways.”
The Bible is filled with great heroes, prophets and kings whom God called to serve Him uncommonly. But it’s also filled with a lot of ordinary people who served Him the best they knew how in their day-to-day life. One of these was a guy named Bezalel, an Israelite from the time of Moses. In Exodus 35 we are first introduced to Bezalel. “Then Moses said to the Israelites, ‘See, the Lord has chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills— to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of artistic crafts’” (Exodus 35:30-33).
It turns out that Bezalel was a pretty skilled carpenter, artist and metalsmith and the Lord had chosen Him to be one of the head designers and foremen working on the tabernacle and Ark of the Covenant. But it wasn’t just Bezalel’s handiwork and architectural skills that made Him important. The Bible also tells us that he was smart, generous, and a great teacher. Moses tells his people that Bezalel was “filled with the Spirit of God” and with wisdom and understanding (verse 31). Moses also specifically mentions that God had given Bezalel “the ability to teach others” (verse 34).
But perhaps the most telling bit of information we find out about Bezalel is that he is a man of integrity and honesty. In chapter 36 Moses tells the people to bring all of the offerings the Israelites had carried with them out of Egypt to build the tabernacle. But then the people started bringing additional “freewill” offerings day, after day, after day. Now this put Bezalel and the other workers in an interesting position. They could have easily taken advantage of this situation and pocketed the extra offerings for themselves. Instead, Bezalel and the other workers “left what they were doing and said to Moses, ‘The people are bringing more than enough for doing the work the Lord commanded to be done’” (Exodus 36:4-5).
Bezalel was just an ordinary guy with a talent for design and construction. In today’s world he could have been an architect or an engineer. But he used his knowledge to serve the Lord in some big and bold ways! Not only did he contribute to the tabernacle and build the Ark, he patiently taught others what they needed to know in order to help. And then, He honored the Lord and showed immense integrity by only taking what was needed to complete the job. Bezalel’s artistic design and craftsmanship resulted in a place that was literally filled with the presence of God (Exodus 40:35).
Bezalel’s story makes me re-think my “ordinary” life. What if God is calling me to use my skills to teach others with patience and kindness? What if He’s looking to me to be an example of wisdom and understanding for my children? What if He wants me to honor Him by showing integrity in the workplace? What if I am to come alongside others in my church and together we are able to use our skills to create a place of worship that is filled with the Holy Spirit week, after week?
Suddenly using the gifts God has given me within my daily life doesn’t sound so ordinary. In fact, it almost sounds like there an opportunity to serve Him in big and bold ways – not because I am so special, but because I serve a Lord who can take the ordinary and turn it into the extraordinary.
How is God calling you to serve Him in your daily life? Can you see opportunities to minister to people throughout your day? What gifts has He blessed you with that could be used to serve Him and others?