Finding Joy in the Ordinary

Sometimes it can feel like we are just living the same ole ordinary day over and over. It feels like nothing we are doing is pushing us toward our dreams. It can feel as though we will never get out of the ordinary that we exist in.

There are days where it feels like we are always doing the same thing. Going to school/going to work, finding something to eat, going to sleep, and repeat.

It’s easy to get caught up in the ordinary and look right past the extraordinary.

I love learning about all of the women in the Bible. The boys are great! But most of the women take a back seat to some of the other Biblical heroes we hear about often. I like to discover their stories.

I’d always heard this story, but I don’t even remember ever hearing this woman’s name. So let me introduce you to my friend Jael. She was living an ordinary, mundane life. She was doing the same thing, day in and day out.

When God took her ordinary and turned into her extraordinary.

She was living her ordinary life when she had the opportunity to make a difference in the world. Meanwhile, Deborah was judge over Israel. I’m sure that it was hard to look at such a successful woman and think her position was way more glamorous than the position she was in.

You can read the whole story in Judges 4:6-22, but (spoiler alert) Jael killed the man that Deborah and Barak were hunting down. Now in our day and age, a murder is not something to celebrate. But back then, life was very different. The murder of this man was so incredibly impactful. The war wasn’t won by this one act, but it marked the beginning of the end of the Canaanites’ reign over Israel.

Pretty impactful stuff.

But what I love the most about this story was that as amazing as Deborah was, it wasn’t her who completed this task. As successful as she was at being a judge, this wasn’t her battle to win. It was Jael’s. The ordinary girl.

That gives me hope. Hope that MY ordinary might not be as ordinary as I think it is.

Jael didn’t wake up thinking, “hmm today I am going to do something great!”

We don’t have many details at all about this woman, but I like to think of her as a woman whose tasks for the day looked a lot like cleaning, doing laundry, cooking food, etc. as many of the women’s lives looked like back then.

She was probably living in the in between. The place where a lot of us find ourselves when we feel overwhelmed by the ordinary.

I feel as though I’m living in the in between. In between seasons of life. In between seasons of friendships. In a season where life just seems so mundane.

God and I have had lots of talks about this in between time I’m in right now. It’s a hard place to be. My last season of life was amazing, beautiful. And I’m sure that my next season will be even more beautiful (because I know the Father’s heart), but this in between has felt like I’m doing nothing of importance.

But the Lord pointed out to me that Jael wasn’t doing anything “of importance” when this opportunity came along. I believe that’s why we know little of her story. She wasn’t building churches, opening a non-profit, or selling rad books. She was simply being when God used her.

What if she had been out there striving to do something out of the ordinary? Something she wasn’t called to do but was attempting to do anyways because she felt as though she could never make a difference in the mundane.

Being “successful” while being out of God’s will crumbles in comparison to being absolutely ordinary while being in God’s will.

I am thankful that Jael was in the mundane. I am thankful that I’m in the mundane. I am thankful for the things that He is teaching me while I’m in the ordinary and I am excited for the day that my ordinary becomes extraordinary.

But until that time, I will find joy in the ordinary.

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