The Ministry Of Ordinary Places

Day 5 of 6 • This day’s reading


       In the book of Joshua we read a dramatic tale of conquests, spies, an out-of-the-way inn, and the woman inside, Rahab, who chose to meddle in the affairs of Joshua’s two undercover agents, hiding them from the king of Jericho at the risk of her own peril. She had her reasons for getting involved. But above all, she believed in the power of the Lord, who “made a dry path” through the sea for the Israelites (Josh. 2:10). Adequately terrified by the magnitude of such power, she determined to stay on the right side of it. . . .

Most Bible translations refer to Rahab as a prostitute or harlot. Others make a case that this label is unfair. I personally think it’s enough to call her a human, doing her best in spite of the hardships and occasionally leaving a trail of wreckage. Isn’t that all of us? God stationed Rahab in Jericho for a reason, with specific work to do. The same is true for me and you. 

The day will never arrive that I am not astonished by God’s eagerness to carry out his plans through the likes of us. His methodology for getting things done is a head-scratcher for the ages. With us by his side, everything is guaranteed to take one thousand times longer along a path potholed with our mess-ups and general antics. It would be so much more efficient to just do it all himself while we were napping or something.

He doesn’t tire of us. He doesn’t write us out of the script or make rash decisions about our fate. He hitches his glory to our ruin and keeps on trucking, delighted by every tiny step we make in the right direction. When my son Calvin was a baby, he was hesitant and fearful about the task of walking. He cruised around the coffee table for months on end, all hands on deck. Now and then, though, he’d feel a surge of bravery, pulling his hands off the tabletop and throwing them into the air for no more than one second. Every time, we lost our minds cheering. We thought he was the bravest baby we’d ever imagined. I picture God like that with us.

Taping that image of God’s love to my mirror, who might I ever see as beneath my enthusiastic optimism and abiding support?