God Shows Up in the Ordinary

Several years ago I visited a church on Pentecost Sunday. At the time, I didn’t even know Pentecost was something celebrated, nor did I realize this church, being an unaffiliated church, would put so much focus on it. Pentecost is typically celebrated on a Sunday 7 weeks after Easter, and in 2012 it will be celebrated on the last Sunday in May.

After the sermon the pastor talked about the importance of Pentecost and its significance in us receiving the Holy Spirit (as talked of in Acts 2). He then, along with another elder, spent several minutes just sitting on the steps of the stage, looking out at the church, waiting for something to happen. He seemed certain God was going to manifest Himself, through His Spirit, in a tangible, physical way.

I wanted to scream, “Pastor, God shows up in the ordinary too!”

Too often we want God to come in these all-powerful, life-altering type of moments. Whether it be a burning bush, tongues of fire, or the parting of major bodies of water, we want our unordinary God to always show up in unordinary ways. And this strong desire for God to show up in those ways puts God in a corner. When He must show up in a way we deem to be “powerful” we’ve limited God to be less than He is. When we only describe His grace as “radical” we’re communicating that His grace never finds us in the ordinary days of life.

It’s not that I don’t think God can and will often show up those extraordinary, there’s-no-way-to-explain-it kind of ways, but it doesn’t replace how His perfect presence shows up in ordinary ways during ordinary moments of life.

Can God show up in the smile on the face of someone you love? I hope so.

We have a weak view of God if we think he only intersects with our lives in extraordinary ways.

We do have an extraordinary God, but He often shows up in our lives in extremely ordinary ways.

The sad part is that we often miss Him.

(Photo: Tori Yonker)