Book Review: The God of Mundane by Matthew B. Redmond

Have you ever thought that you needed to do “big things for God”? Have you ever felt like you weren’t living up to the standard of a “good Christian” if you weren’t giving up all that you have to donate to the poor or to become a lifelong missionary? While there are people that may be called to do so, most people throughout history to this day, including you and I, will continue to lead ordinary, mundane lives. But we get lots of sermons, books, and resources that heavily encourage us to do big, monumental things for God.

In this book, The God of the Mundane, Matthew B. Redmond asks a very important question, “Is there a God of the mundane?” Does God care about the parent that is barely able to stay awake after changing countless diapers and feedings throughout the day for their child? Does God care for the individual that is struggling with their job? These are all believers but there is nothing seemingly significant about their day-to-day roles.

The answer to Redmond’s question shouldn’t be surprising (spoiler alert: it’s in the title). He argues that most of us will not be called to be like the apostles in the New Testament, but rather, most of us will be the audience that the apostles wrote to. In 146 pages, Redmond reminds us that God seeks obedience and faithfulness in whatever season, circumstance, gifts, and talents He has given to us. The reality is that the majority of our life will be filled with the mundane and that is totally okay. We may remain nameless in history, as did most of the readers of the epistles, but we will be remembered by the God who knows and sees all.

We are not saved from mediocrity and obscurity, the ordinary and the mundane. We are saved in the midst of it. We are not redeemed from the mundane. We are redeemed from the slavery of thinking our mundane life is not
enough.

Page 62, The God of the Mundane

I was very encouraged to read this book. It challenged me. I have definitely listened to sermons and read books that challenged me to live radically and boldly for Jesus. I have grappled with similar questions of whether God truly wants me to continue to live normally in my profession, doing what seems to be somewhat insignificant tasks in light of eternity. However, it would be a lie to think that where God has called each of us is without a purpose. There is a purpose. It does take courage to follow Jesus as a nobody, but perhaps being faithful in the mundane, especially joyfully obedient, can be quite extraordinary. It would reflect dying to ourselves, the self that seeks fame and glory. Only a God of the mundane will be able to tell the story of how He sustained His people who live ordinary lives and reflect His image in ordinary ways.

Suffering Well

“How are you?”

This is a question I’ve been asked a lot lately. Sometimes it’s just a greeting, which may usually get my automatic usual response of “I’m doing good, how are you?”. However, when this question is being asked out of genuine care and concern for my well-being (which is quite often), I know that my automatic response can’t fool the ones asking me, so I’ll pause to answer because it really depends moment by moment. There are certainly happy days – days when life feels a bit normal and I am able to laugh and feel grateful for how far I’ve come and where God has placed me. But then there are many lonely nights when I’m just lying down, curled into a fetal position, crying out to God to take away my pain, my hurt, my longings. To restore what has been broken. To help me to surrender and to trust in the unknown. To give me new desires.

Honestly, it’s super embarrassing and humbling to admit that some days are just so hard. I don’t like working through my emotions or revealing my weaknesses. Waking up and facing each new day is a battle for me. I’m still sad and confused; processing and grieving; waiting and trying to be still.

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Knowing God

I’m still processing over the events that have happened to me recently, trying to figure out what forgiveness might look like and what will it take for me to move on from this traumatic heartbreak and to have closure. It has become more and more clear that what I chose was the wisest decision, that obedience to Christ is better than whatever temporary sorrow and despair that I feel now. This doesn’t mean that I haven’t felt resentment or bitterness. Oh, on the contrary, I think I’ve gone through every possible emotion in the last three months!

And yet, despite all of this, I can’t believe that my heart has grown to love Jesus more. I’m learning that I can run to Him and bring all my emotions to Him (yes, even the ugly ones!). There have been many moments of desperation and in those times, even when I can’t stop the stream of endless tears from flowing down my face, I have a gentle assurance and conviction that God is worthy of my trust. He is speaking to me through Scripture. He is speaking to me through family and friends who are praying for me, caring for me, and spurring me on to finish this race well. He is faithful to me.

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Praise God in the Waiting

I have not written on this blog in years. In fact, it’s been a long time since I have even been on this blogging platform. Interestingly enough, I have spent the last several days re-reading and pondering my old posts because the truths that I wrote about four to five years ago still apply. It is amazing that God is still teaching me the same lessons over and over again, and reading my words from the old me was somehow such an encouragement to my present self.

Well, where do I even begin?

The past year has been difficult, to say the least. A tragic, abrupt death of a close friend. My family split into two time zones. A loved one being diagnosed with cancer. An unexpected global pandemic. Shattered dreams of a future that I thought was so secure.

There have been plenty of sleepless nights for me lately (and as I’m typing this, tonight is one of them). Yet despite the waves of my emotions of grief, anxiety, and helplessness, I cannot help but be in awe of God. He is clearly at work in my life. He is calling me to surrender and relinquish control. This sorrow is not wasted; this pain is clearly for a purpose. These trials are for my good and somehow God is redeeming all of my suffering for His glory.

My friend, musicgoon, recently gifted me a book titled “Mercy For Today: A Daily Prayer from Psalm 51” by Jonathan Parnell, which may be very well be on its way to becoming one of my favorite new books for the year. In one of the chapters, Parnell says,

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