Extraordinary in the Ordinary

It is really easy, most of the time, at least, to see God in the big things in life. We see Him in the birth of a child. We see Him in the natural disasters and the storms. We remember His power and control over everything when we see diseases take hold of people and viruses take over nations.

We look for Him in the mountains and in the sky during a sunrise or sunset. In everything that is big and powerful, we can say that God was there and in control. However, we forget a lot that God is here with us every second of every day. We forget that we should be looking for God in the “simple” and ordinary things in life.

There is a song called “Hymn of Creation” by Dan Forrest that really captures this truth. You may know this song since it is one that Covenant Christian High School Choirs sang in 2019. The song starts off by talking about how God made the mountains rise, how He spread the seas, and created the sky. It goes on to talk about God’s wisdom in the sun, the moon, and the stars. It lists many of the “big” or extraordinary things of this world, sights that make us catch our breath.

Then the song shifts and starts to talk about the smaller details. The details in which we do not always remember God when we see them. It lists the food that we eat and the creatures that inhabit the earth. It says that no matter where I look I can see God’s wonders – even if it is just at the ground we walk upon.

My favorite line from this song is, “while all that borrows life from Thee is ever in Thy care, and ev’ry where that man can be, Thou, God art present there”. This line reminds us that God is keeping us alive. He is making our hearts to beat and our lungs to breathe and that without Him we would not be here. It reminds us that God is everywhere and not just in those big sights and big moments in life. We need to be reminded that we have to look for and see God in the ordinary, in the things we take for granted.

God’s glory is displayed everywhere, and we can see it everywhere if we just take the time to look. Our lungs breathing, our heart beating, the sun rising, and so much more we take for granted and see as ordinary. But once we start noticing God in everything, including the ordinary, we will start to see everything as extraordinary and that God’s glory is displayed in millions of ways. We will start to thank God and glorify Him for everything.

This is something we should be doing already, but it is easy to get swept up in the world and forget God and everything He has done and is doing for us. This is our old man, our fallen human nature coming into play. Forgetting God is what the devil wants us to do. He cheers everytime we go through a day without thanking God and glorifying Him for anything and everything.

Making a conscious effort, by God’s grace, to do this every day makes every day more enjoyable. Looking for God in everything and seeing all that He has done and continues to do for us makes it easier to be in a good and happy mood. It also helps in prayer and devotions. We have a list of things to be thankful for and can talk to God throughout the day giving thanks for everything. This can really help strengthen our relationship with God.

I struggle with this too, but this song reminds me—and hopefully others—to see God in everything no matter how ordinary. It reminds me to give thanks and glorify God for more than just the big things in life. It reminds me that God is with me all the time. It reminds me to see the extraordinary in the ordinary.

(click here to listen to “Hymn of Creation”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZR3NphPrZt4)

Brittany Bylsma

Satisfaction in Christ

Our world is a battlefield. A war, fierce and tactical, rages around us at all times. It is not, however, a fight for land or political power, but one for our souls. The Devil operates with an intense yearning for our hearts, attempting to ensnare us through cunningly disguised temptations. It is Satan’s greatest desire for us to reject our loving Lord and choose him and his deceptions. This battle is waged in many areas of our life, but especially in where we look for our satisfaction.

We tend to fix our eyes horizontally, examining only the world around us in a desperate search for satisfaction. It might not even be a conscious, intentional action, but it is perhaps still there. Maybe it’s our social life. We are confident in the lie that we tell ourselves day after day that if I was just a little bit more popular, or if I fit into that friend group, then life would be good. Maybe we seek fulfillment academically. If I am just able to get a high grade on that exam, or be accepted into my first choice college, then I will be happy. Maybe we look to the amount of likes on a picture we posted, a number on the scale, finding a spouse, or the sum of money in our bank account to receive fulfillment. The list goes on and on. 

Of course, some of these desires are not necessarily incorrect in and of themselves. It is, however, wrong to place our trust fully, or even partially, in them.  Seeking God, plus something on the side (you fill in the blank) to reach satisfaction is never right. Not only is it sinful, but it will not provide the true and lasting satisfaction for which we ache.

The reason that we find no fulfillment in any of those “ideals,” is that they were simply not made to satisfy us. We live in an imperfect, fallen, and broken world. It is illogical even to expect that an imperfect person or a temporary object could bring lasting and perfect joy. The fulfillment for which we so urgently seek is found solely in Christ, the eternal fountain of joy and peace. He is lasting. He is perfect. He is our complete satisfaction! 

In living out this truth, the believer discovers tremendous freedom. No longer do circumstances control our joy—Christ is our joy! Our happiness doesn’t come from a career, or friends, or anything else. I find my delight in my wonderful Heavenly Father, who loves me in all eternity. The words of Psalm 16: 8, 9, and 11 ring beautifully true.  “I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope… Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” 

“I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope…Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” 

Psalm 16:8-9,11

Leah Decker