The problem with the Bible being full of ordinary people is that sooner or later, you're going to identify with at least one of them. At the moment, I identify with at least five, and could probably think of more.
Like Jacob, I feel like I'm wrestling with God. Unlike Jacob, I'm finding it hard to expect a blessing from it. My husband tells me that I will be blessed and will bless others because of it (and he's usually right but don't tell him I said that) but at the moment I'm having a very hard time seeing that. The thing is, I'm so confused and I really don't know what God's asking me to do - or if I do, I'm really not sure I can do it.
Which makes me a lot like Jonah. Poor Jonah. I have quite a lot of sympathy for Jonah at the moment. When things are in the too-hard basket, run away. Or put your head in the sand. Or ignore it (I would if I could). Unlike Jonah, I have no wish to be thrown into the sea (well Jonah probably didn't either but he did tell the sailors to throw him overboard); like Jonah, I'm feeling a little angry. From Jonah you get the sense of the very human question: why me? (I've always wondered why the story of Jonah ends so abruptly: I guess it's because he fulfilled his purpose but it would be nice to know the what next - even if just to satisfy our own curiosity that he was better for the whole experience.)
And then there's Job. Or more correctly, Job's friends. They told Job that God was punishing him and, to be honest, I'm feeling a little bit like that myself. I know that God only gives good gifts but I'm struggling to see the good in this - struggling to see how this can be anything other than a punishment. For what? I don't know. I guess in that regard, I'm like Job. He knew he was righteous and he trusted that God knew what He was doing despite the outward circumstances. At some time I, too, need to reach that point.
Which brings me to Peter. While his eyes were on Jesus, he walked on water. But as soon as he took his eyes off Jesus, he began to sink. I have moments when I have inexplicable peace, but then I have lots of times when I'm sinking. In fact, I think I've drowned several times over already. And that's just today.
And who can forget Esther? Perhaps, more importantly, who can forget her uncle Mordecai who urged her to go to the king even though he knew it could result in her death? The anguish of spirit that poor girl must have endured before she finally, courageously, said, "And if I perish, I perish." I do not have Esther's courage but I certainly appear to be surrounded by a number of Mordecais - people who appear to care nothing for my well-being and yet, perhaps, have a vision of a greater good that God is calling me to do.
Just ordinary people. And yet they had an extra-ordinary God. Perhaps that's the answer (in fact, I know it is). Yet, it seems that right now I am still definitely more of a Jonah-at-the-beginning-of-the-story than an Esther. And we all know what happened to Jonah!