There is a popular song by John Legend called “Ordinary People.” But we used to sing one several years ago by the same title. It says: “Just ordinary people…God uses ordinary people. He uses people just like me and you, who are willing to do what He commands” (Danniebelle Hall). Why should we question that? He is all powerful, after all. So why would He not use ordinary people to do extraordinary things? No one would be surprised if someone royal or wealthy or extremely intelligent did something great. That’s what is expected of them. But the poor, the uneducated, the humble of this earth? That’s another story.
For example, there was a blue collar worker who was a carpenter. He was engaged to a young girl (probably a teenager) who was poor and uneducated. What did they have in common, other than poverty? They trusted God with all of their hearts. They loved and served Him in their local community and synagogue. So God chose to trust them to provide a home for His only Son, who was sent from heaven to be the Savior of the world. Extraordinary, don’t you think?
Or what about Rahab? A prostitute, an outcast of society, who harbored Israeli spies and helped them escape over the wall of Jericho in a basket. Despite her unseemly position in life, she knew about God and had faith in Him and what He was doing. She said to the men, “I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us…the Lord your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath” (Joshua 2:9 & 11, ESV). And so she dared to ask that she be spared when the army attacked her city. Her request was honored, and she escaped when tragedy struck. Remarkably, she later married an Israelite man and is mentioned in the lineage of Jesus (Matthew 1:5).
None of Jesus’ disciples were likely candidates for His service, from our perspective. But God chose them. And they followed. After the resurrection, they were empowered by the Spirit to do amazing things! In Acts 4:13, we read, ”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.”
That’s what makes the difference, isn’t it? Being with Jesus. Knowing Him. Trusting Him to accomplish significant things through insignificant people. People like us. You may not think you can do much. But you can pray. Remember what James said? “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16).
Is God using you today to pray, to listen, to serve? Does ordinary mean unusable?