The Role of the Ordinary in the Story of Elisha and the Widow

By | December 30, 2010

I told you about how I named this blog in yesterday’s post. I told you the story of Elisha and the widow from 2 Kings 4.

One of the most important aspects of the passage—I believe—is the role of the ordinary.

What’s more basic than oil and jars?

God’s all about using the ordinary to do extraordinary things.

I believe that God chooses to operate against the backdrop of ordinaryness so that his glory shines forth that much more.

What are some ordinary things that God has used? Some of them include:Role of the Ordinary in the Story of Elisha and the Widow. God uses the ordinary for extraordinary purposes.

  • a baby in a barn wrapped in rags
  • water, wine, bread
  • words and language to record his glory and revelation

Recently in my Sunday school class, we talked about Jesus’ miracles. My teacher noted that Jesus could have performed miracles everywhere, all day long. But he didn’t heal everyone who was sick. Jesus’ miracles were specific and purposeful in establishing himself as God and pointing toward his ultimate miracle: Resurrection and salvation for those who believe in him. He also always accompanied the physical miracle with the spiritual miracle (conversion of the person).

I thought about something else, as well. Had Jesus gone around healing everyone and performing all and any  kind of miracle, wouldn’t that, in a sense, have diluted the effectiveness of his message? Wouldn’t persons have come to expect such of him? Wouldn’t that have “cheapened” his grace in some manner?

As it was, we have these incredible miracles on display against the backdrop of ordinary people—chosen by God—for healing and saving. The deliberate choices of these select few make Jesus’ power all the more great.

And the deliberate use of the “ordinary” for God’s purposes makes them all the more extraordinary.

Seeing The “Ordinary” in The Story of Elisha and the Widow

In the story of Elisha and the widow, she had all she needed (by and through God’s power, of course) right inside the walls of her own house. She had the ability, the possessions, and the help within her grasp.

What ordinary things in your house can be extraordinary in God’s economy?

photo: supafine at morguefile

Important Reminders

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Mary Bernard is a Nashville-based writer and mother of three. She's worked in a variety of corporate and creative environments, but none is more comfortable than the dining room table in her own home. Mary loves to help moms discover God's unique call to look in their own houses for their priorities, passions, and provision.

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