Life is full of sophisticated trouble when we know we need God. But, for the most part, life is truly filled with many more ordinary, troublesome things. My friend, life’s a story, stayed tuned for more on This Passing Day.
There was a day long ago when my brothers and I looked forward to the “new models,” as in September each year the automakers introduced their new models for the upcoming year. I can still remember back in 1960 when the new ‘61 models debuted. There were the television shows like Bonanza sponsored by Chevrolet where GM could promote its ‘61s. Mr. Ed was sponsored by Studebaker, and the Bob Hope Show by Chrysler. Newspapers and magazines were filled with new car ads, mostly with pretty women standing next to the cars. Then there were the billboards along Highway 16 between Oconomowoc and Hartland as well, our hometown, where the cars were literally bursting out onto the highway below. The most excitement was generated, however, when some lucky new car buyer, who had already invested in a ‘61 model early, came passing by in the opposing lane of traffic. “Wow. Did you see that? It’s a ‘61 Oldsmobile.” The conversation was the same for just about every new model: Ford, Chevrolet, Mercury, Dodge, Studebaker, and, oh . . . Plymouth? We looked at each other and wondered about that one. “Wow. That was the best they could do? Has to be one of the plainest new cars I’ve ever seen.” Some called it ugly and the polite folks just called it ordinary. Now, nearly 60 years later the car is deemed by many so plain that it’s beautiful in its ordinariness; classic among the few plain, ordinary cars of that era.
Scriptures tell us that God will “never leave us or forsake us.” I guess we can understand how this is an incredible promise when extraordinary things happen to us, but what about the ordinary things of the day? Will God also remain awesome when it comes to just plain, ordinary living?
Here’s a story. A successful man who was on a business trip. He normally didn’t attend church, but he was troubled about some matters and went to church, hoping to find some relief. The music and the sermon were okay, but didn’t really help. As he was leaving, a young man walked up and quoted John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” The businessman didn’t see how such a thing could be true and he didn’t understand the connection between God’s giving His Son and a person having eternal life. The man was educated and he articulately expressed his objections. Each time, the young man, who was retarded and knew only this one verse, responded simply by quoting John 3:16. After this had gone on for several times, the businessman suddenly was struck with the simple truth of that verse. God burned the words into his heart and gave him the faith to believe. He got down on his knees and wept in gratitude. God used the only Scripture this retarded young man knew to give eternal life to this sophisticated businessman. (told by Martin & Deidre Bobgan, Competent to Minister [EastGate], pp. 45-46)
Life is full of sophisticated trouble when we know we need God. But, for the most part, life
is truly filled with many more ordinary, troublesome things. Is it just as easy to know God when we’re hungry as when we might be starving? Just as God used the simple ordinary young man to convict and bring to repentance that sophisticated businessman, so he also uses the ordinary matters of our lives to secure our lives day after day. As we look back on our lives, especially for some of us who have been around for many decades, we can see how God’s daily, ordinary protection has played such an important role in preserving us. At the time, like that old Plymouth, God’s protection was so drab, so mundane, we scarcely were aware of it. Looking back now, however, his daily providence was so ordinary it was classic.
We pray. Thank you Lord for your willingness to take care of every facet of our lives, especially the daily matters of living we sometimes overlook for their ordinariness. Forgive us when we fail to realize how your grace and mercy touch everything we do, everything we are. Make us thankful and mindful of the ordinary character of your extraordinary kindness and love. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. This Passing Day. (Matt 6:34)
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