1Glories

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Those Ordinary People are Real People, and That’s Incredible!

There’s lots of examples of ordinary people being used by God for incredible things. These are more than mere stories. They are real people, serving a real God for real purpose.

The Bible has a many examples of ordinary people being used by God for his big purposes. Those stories are oft-repeated and for good reason; we learn, grow and are inspired by them. But God didn’t stop using ordinary people once the Bible was written and assembled.

God still uses ordinary things and ordinary people on a regular basis.

Ordinary People, Real People and That’s Incredible

When I was a child, two popular shows of the time were “Real People” and “That’s Incredible.” The former showed pre-recorded segments to a live studio audience much like America’s Funniest Home Videos (minus the frequent hits to people’s groins, of course). It showed humorous pictures as well as newspaper errors sent in by viewers.  It also covered a lot of serious stories that captivated Americans.

Much like today’s crop of reality TV shows are riding the coattails of Survivor’s success, Real People spawned a successful imitator called “That’s Incredible.” It was sort of like a cross between Real People, Ripley’s Believe it or Not and David Letterman’s Stupid Human Tricks. They covered topics like a haunted Toys R Us, a man with two faces, and a man with constantly sweaty palms.

One of the most well-known segments featured a father whose son could seemingly put a golf ball into a hole from virtually anywhere. That little boy grew up and became a professional golfer we know today as Tiger Woods. Another well-known segment featured several video game players, that is now commonly considered to be the world’s first world video game championship.

Like the reality TV of today, the legitimacy of some of the coverage (more so with That’s Incredible than Real People) came under scrutiny. Many believe that even those that were legitimate were dramatized and exaggerated. Naturally, viewers have grown skeptical, wondering if television is just as scripted as professional wrestling.

Real (Incredible) Ordinary People of The Bible

There’s lots of examples of ordinary people being used by God for incredible things. These are more than mere stories. They are real people, serving a real God for real purpose.

There’s lots of examples of ordinary people being used by God for incredible things. These are more than mere stories. They are real people, serving a real God for real purpose.

Read through the Bible and you are bound to see the stories of many ordinary people who did incredible things. Some of those are long-cherished children’s Sunday School tales. They are so much so, they sometimes seem unreal. But make no mistake about it; these were real people. Ordinary people who have incredible legacies. Thanks be to God. For example:

  • Moses was a total failure of a person (by most common standards). He delivered a nation (Exodus).
  • David was a teenage shepherd boy. He defeated a giant bully (I Samuel 17) that the most decorated warriors refused to fight. Oh, and he went on to become king (2 Samuel 5).
  • Nehemiah was the cupbearer to a king (Nehemiah 1:11). He went on to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 6:15) – something nobody believed could be done.
  • Isaac was the miracle baby of an accomplished celebrity (Abraham), living in relative obscurity. Though the Bible shows few great achievements in the life of Isaac, God continued the covenant line that produced our Messiah, Jesus Christ. And, according to Jesus, Isaac has a seat in God’s kingdom (Luke 13:28).
  • Mary was a pregnant teenage girl who had been rejected and outcast. She gave birth to the Messiah (Matthew 1:18-25 and Luke 1:26-38).

God Can Use Ordinary People

Something I have learned and taken to heart this year is the understanding that God chose flawed people to lead his church so we would never worship ourselves over him. That’s something I took away from Bekah DiFelice’s Almost There: Searching for Home in a Life on the Move.

I think it’s also important to remember that we are flawed people so we can grasp and fathom our humility. When we do this, we can get out of our own way. We can remember that we don’t have to do everything ourselves – and we in fact cannot do it all. We have the ultimate blessing of being complete with Christ (Colossians 2:10).

In humble submission and union with God, we get to be real people – ordinary people – beloved by God. And, who knows? Through that union and our service, we might just be a part of something that makes people say, “That’s Incredible!”

About Chad Gramling

Chad Gramling makes his home in Indiana with his wife and three daughters. He's the founder and primary blogger at 1Glories, a vision cast onto his heart and detailed in Listen Up Kids: Foolish Dreams, Syncing with God & Running to Win.