The thing that encourages me the most from traveling to Israel is the extraordinary in the ordinary. Israel is a small country. It’s beautiful, but so is California. The Jewish people, well lets face it, they messed up a lot. The sea of Galilee is a small area in a small country. The disciples were a motley crew. They were mostly fishermen plus a tax-collector. An unimpressive collection of hot-heads, thieves, rednecks, self-promoters, religious radicals, and barely believers. And in this small region, in this small country, with a shaky cast, Jesus changed the world and forever changed our destinies. The extraordinary out of the ordinary. And it gives me hope, as it should you. No matter how meaningless you think your life is, no matter how small your town may be, no matter how tucked away your cubicle might seem, God sees you, just as Jesus saw Nathanael under the fig tree, Zaccheus in the tree, and Matthew at the tax booth. He sees you and He wants to use you and He can use you. What we see from each of those 12 men were a willingness. Oswald Chambers calls it a “reckless abandon.” The story of God’s historical tapestry is not woven with fine golden thread and silk. Rather, it is entwined with those of us made of ordinary cotton, burlap, and wool. But in God’s hands, those ordinary ingredients can form something so beautiful, so powerful, it can change thousands of years and millions of people.