Everyday, Ordinary Life

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life–your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life–and place it before God as an offering” (Romans 12:1, MSG).

I love that verse in Romans and I came across it again today in my reading. The thing is, there are so many parts of my “everyday, ordinary life” that don’t seem really offering worthy.  I don’t mean because they are mundane.  I mean because they’re ugly and messy and well, failures really.

Like when your daughter decides to take the ballet shoes that you placed next to the front door, hide them and then forget where they are 5 minutes before you have to leave for ballet class and you lose it.

Maybe that kind of stuff only happens to me, but believe me, my reaction to this “irritation” wasn’t really an offering worthy of God.

To be honest, how I react to the big crises in life is much more holy and Christian.  I lean in to God and I grow in my faith in the process because I have no other choice really.  I know fully well that I’m not able to handle any of the big stuff on my own.

It’s the daily annoyances, interruptions, and irritants that bring out the worst in me, partly because I forget to look to God for any help or input at all.

So, how—-how do I turn my everyday, ordinary life into an acceptable sacrifice and a way to give God glory?

I’m reading this fantastic book by Eugene Peterson called A Long Obedience in the Same Direction and he drew my attention to something I had ignored before in this verse.  Three little words: “God helping you.” In the NIV translation, the verse reads:  “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”

With God’s help and in view of God’s mercy, I can make my life–my whole life, not just the “important” parts—an offering to God.

In Romans 9:16, Paul writes, “It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.”  I don’t know about you, but I’m so thankful to know that my salvation, my joy, my future don’t depend on anything other than God’s great mercy.

That means when I mess it up and lose it over hidden ballet shoes that actually don’t reappear until 3 days later (hidden behind the chair in my room), I can have a fresh start.  As it says in Lamentations 3:21-24:

Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning;  great is your faithfulness.  I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.

We fail, but His compassion doesn’t fail.  He gives us new grace every morning.  He is our portion.  He is all we need in every difficult, annoying, frustrating moment of our everyday lives, just like He’s faithfully with us in every crisis.  It is only with His help that my reactions to the daily can be placed before Him as an offering.

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Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2011 Heather King