Out of the Ordinary

Have you ever watched God work out the impossible in your life? I’m not talking about death defying miracles, though those count. I’m talking everyday situations God moves in to leave His mark on the events.

Recently, someone stole my checking account information. It’s horrible to realize someone stole your private information. It’s worse when they overdraw your account leaving returned check fees to pile up. But it’s awesome to know, God intervened.

It was the day after a holiday at work. Because I wasn’t feeling well and we weren’t busy, I was allowed to leave at noon.  On my way home, I stopped for orange juice to get some extra vitamin C. My debit card was declined. Confused, I checked my account. It was overdrawn, and returned checks were just waiting for two o’clock to earn hefty overdraft fees. I called my mom to see if I could borrow enough from her to cover the checks. I raced to her house, raced back to the bank, and deposited the money just in time. While I waited for the deposit slip, I checked my account details. Scrolling through charges, I saw a company my family has never used. I pulled to the front of the bank and went inside to speak with someone about the fraudulent charge. I spent the next several hours on the phone with half a dozen different people reporting the fraud and getting our accounts straightened out.

The reason I share this is because God intervened. When someone needed sent home, I didn’t have to be chosen. But I was. If I hadn’t had respiratory issues, I wouldn’t have stopped for juice. If my card hadn’t been declined, I wouldn’t have known about the overdrafts. Without my mom loaning me the money, I wouldn’t have been able to avoid extra charges. Without time as I waited for the deposit, I wouldn’t have immediately found the fraud and been able to go sinto the bank to fix it. And all of this happened at just the right time to allow me to fix it without missing work or having to put it off longer leaving my account vulnerable to further theft.

God worked every detail out in the best possible way. I’m thankful for that, and I give Him the credit for it.

In terms of the bigger picture, that is one of the small things He has done. There have been so many others in my life from smaller daily occurrences to more drastic life-changing times.

Sometimes, it’s all God. Other times it is God working through His people, but it’s still God. However, we shrug it off, attributing it to luck or karma. God intervenes, and then, life goes on like nothing has happened. Why?

Becky Hollister experiences something like this in Under This Same Sky by Cynthia Roemer, though her realization comes after devastation that threatens to keep her from seeing God’s intervention. After losing her family, Becky’s world is changed. Her carefree life on the prairie is interrupted with uncertainty and fear. At one point, she approaches the town, and her feelings are summed up beautifully. “At last, Miller Creek appeared in the distance, serene and peaceful, as though nothing out of the ordinary had taken place.”

Becky’s experience left her changed. It left her life changed. Yet, everything around her went on as usual. The discrepancy was difficult to process, as it should be in those situations. She faced something horrible, and her faith in God was tested.

Should things like that go unnoticed? Whether it’s devastation like she faced or seeing God at work like I did, shouldn’t it make a difference in the world around us?

Too often, we’re guilty of being the town. We experience God moving in our lives working things out, but we go on living  “as though nothing out of the ordinary” has happened. Throughout scripture God’s people celebrated and remembered God’s hand at work in their lives. They set up twelve stones after crossing the river as a testimony to what God had done. They celebrated the Passover each year to remember their deliverance. David wrote Psalms of praise honoring God for His interventions. Time and again, the people remembered and celebrated God’s work in their lives.

What happened when they failed to remember? Abraham and Jacob took matters into their own hands and wreaked havoc in their families. The ones God delivered from Egypt lost their chance to enter the Promised Land. The nation of Israel was taken captive by other nations again and again.  They forgot the God they were supposed to be serving.

It happens to us too. When God touches our lives and we don’t take the time to praise or remember, we begin to forget Him. We begin to think we accomplish it all on our own. We don’t think we need Him as much, and our witness suffers. In Matthew, Jesus says to let our light shine so others see our good works and glorify God. In John, every time the people saw a sign, it says they believed because of it. All throughout the New Testament, we are called to glorify and praise God because of what He has done and is doing in us. The reason is two-fold.

Remembering strengthens our faith. It helps us see Him when the devastating things happen. It also shows God to those around us. It’s time we start letting others know when “out of the ordinary” things, when God things happen in our lives.

By the Book: Consider all God has done for you, even in the messes. Praise Him and share that praise below in the comments. What He has done for you may be an encouragement for someone else today.

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