14th March 2023

From ordinary to extraordinary

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 1:6 NASB 1985)

Thinking of this time of year, as we approach Easter, always brings Mary, the mother of Jesus, into a little more focus than throughout the rest of the year.

When I think of Mary, I think of a woman who is truly just an ordinary person; she could be any one of us. She lived in an ordinary town and lived a pretty ordinary life for a young lady of that day.

Mary was given her significance because of God. This means that God can and does enlist each one of us. Mary became extraordinary, not only because God used her to bring Jesus into the world, but he also knew of her willingness to obey. God had a claim on Mary’s life. Because she was special? No, because he was her creator. God specializes in the extraordinary so that when the victory is won and the task complete, we cannot take any credit.

Mary understood the claim on her life when she was asked by God to be the mother of our Savior; she also knew with the words that were spoken to her by Simeon, “A sword will pierce your own soul too” (Luke 2:35), that her life was not hers anymore.

There at Calvary, I believe that a sword did pierce Mary’s soul. How could it not? As a mother, she was losing her son, but she also gave her Son up for the larger picture of salvation and redemption for the world. Mary’s life was truly extraordinary.

We may think we are ordinary, but we should know that we walk with the power of the Holy Spirit to be extraordinary, to accomplish, like Mary, mighty things for God.


Lord, thank you for reminding me that you can use anyone and everyone. I willingly offer you all that I am and all that I have – choosing to believe that who I am is enough to be used by you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Study by Linda Sitterley

First published on 17 March 2020 in GCI Update Devotionals https://update.gci.org 


About the writer:
Linda Sitterley is an elder in Grace Communion International, and Pastors the Eugene, Oregon USA, congregation.

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