One Extraordinary Life

“This is all the more urgent, for you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.”

Romans 13:11

Danielle left us when she was just 17 years old and today would be her 37th earthly birthday. I find it almost impossible to imagine her as a grown up 37 year old woman married and with children and trying to juggle marriage and family, work and ministry which I am sure she would have been. Actually it’s not that hard as my wife and I have a daughter who was not only Danielle’s best friend but in many ways is her twin from a different mother. So today on her birthday when I try to imagine what Danielle might be like I just watch Bree and I get a pretty good idea. Bree loves the Lord, her husband and children and ministry is just a natural part of who she is and what she does on a day to day basis. Bree and Danielle were different but very much alike.

When I think about Danielle today I am reminded of how God took an ordinary life and did extraordinary things with her. As I was reading the story of Ananias in Acts 9 whom the Lord used to pray for Saul and who became known as the apostle Paul to receive his sight, I realize that Ananias was just an ordinary man who God used to do extraordinary things too. We all want our lives to count, most of us have a desire to leave a mark, a legacy of love and to make a difference in this world by impacting people’s lives for Jesus. I know that was Danielle’s hope even though she was just 17 years of age.

As we celebrate Danielle’s birthday tonight and endure the void her leaving left in ours I still think back to Danielle’s last day on earth with pride and joy recalling the day went something like this. She asked her mom to wake her up at 6:00 a.m. so she could do a bible study that morning with her friends that had spent the night. I am so thankful her last words to her mom as her mom headed out the door for work were, “I love you mommy” as she flashed her million dollar smile. Later, she had lunch with a friend she was evangelizing and had even purchased (with her own money) a bible with her friends name engraved on it. After lunch she went back to hanging out with her best friend who was getting ready to leave for Bible college. That evening she attended a “pool side bible study” put on by her youth group from church and then afterwards it was back to her besties house to hang out some more. Who would have known that around 10:45 pm that night she would step into eternity just after leaving her friends house for home. It was just an ordinary day in the life of one extraordinary young girl.

Back to Acts 9. Like Danielle, Ananias ordinary actions became extraordinary as he walked in obedience to the Lords leading. Thats how any of us can accomplish the extraordinary, obedience, simple obedience. In Acts 9 we read that Ananias obeyed God and went and found the recently converted Saul. Ananias laid hands on him and prayed, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 9:17). Immediately, Saul was healed of his blindness and was baptized and the rest is history as they say. God used the apostle Paul to pen much of the New Testament and spread the gospel to the non jewish world and we all have Ananias to thank. In Acts 22:12 Paul mentioned Ananias by name when he said, “A man named Ananias came to see me. He was a devout observer of the law and highly respected by all the Jews living there.”

Ananias was an ordinary man - not an apostle, a prophet, a pastor, an evangelist, an elder, or a deacon, yet God used him especially because he was an ordinary man. God gets His greatest glory out of devout ordinary men and women who trust and obey Him. There is a special work for ordinary people to do as all throughout the Bible God chose ordinary people to do extraordinary work. Often times we think of the prominent people but forget they all had humble beginnings. Abraham, Moses, David, Rahab, Ruth and Daniel were just ordinary people who did the extraordinary when they stepped out in faith and trusted God.

In the book of Acts it says of the disciples of Jesus that they were ordinary men but they had been with Jesus! Jesus is what makes all the difference in the world. Jesus is what makes the ordinary become extraordinary. It was true of one Danielle Marie Gould and it can be true of you and me too! We each can live in the realm of the extraordinary and even the impossible by the power of the Holy Spirit when we keep our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith! Remember, even Peter was able to walk on water as long as his eyes were on Jesus. Keep your eyes on Jesus today and do everything for the glory of God. We never know when our last day this side of heaven might be so let’s live like it just might be so we can hear Jesus say to us like I am sure He said to Danielle that night when she met Him face to face…

His lord said to (her), ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.

Matthew 25:21


Michael Osthimer





no categories


no tags