this post is part 3 of a series called undaunted. part 1 is here, if you would like to start there.
so, have you ever noticed that when you’re most keenly aware of your own failures, God seems to work past them or even right through them, to bring glory to himself? as i’ve travelled this road of becoming undaunted, of learning about what living fearlessly may mean, i have been amazed at how many people told me during the journey that they thought I was brave – little, afraid me! so often when i am at my lowest point of wondering when God will move visibly, and even (oh, it’s hard to admit this publicly) if He was moving at all, someone will tell me how my “courage” has encouraged them. and this is where God started to show me:
He may intend to bless us much as, or way more than, we could imagine.
on the way to our new home in an ongoing cross-country move, we have taken trips to a number of historical sites. i was awed by monticello, the home of thomas jefferson, and more, by his story. one of the stories told by the guides was about Jefferson’s personal manservant, james hemings, whom jefferson alone trusted to wake him, and to prepare his clothing for the day. he trusted this man alone to serve the meals at his table, during a time when the tradition called for multiple servants to do so. and he trusted this man alone, outside one member of jefferson’s family, to carry the keys to the stores and valuables in jefferson’s plantation. this man was a slave, one of the least respected men of his time, but jefferson called him out and placed the ultimate trust in him. it reminds me that God may actually place me not just in a position of submission, but of actual slavery, and yet still be entrusting me literally with the keys to the Kingdom.
at times in our journey of marriage and family, i have felt circumstances were outside my control. i have felt a rising panic that i was in a place of servitude, and my time was spent changing diapers, or helping to edit newsletters, or washing dishes and laundry, and that i wasn’t able to do things i thought were really “using my gifts.” i have struggled as, possibly temporarily, i gave up the majority of business for a company that was providing our family’s full-time income (and, honestly, providing a lot of external pride for me). i have felt, in short, like a slave to my own life. how funny, when i know so little of genuine servitude, or of suffering as others have, in history and today.
and yet even while these moments may have felt like such sacrifice, in His topsy-turvy way of doing things, God is many times placing those in lowest positions in places of great influence.
as a woman and a follower of Jesus, i am often digging deeper into just what being a woman means. my sisters (and i, honestly) have bristled at 1 peter 3, as it calls women to “submit to their husbands.” i have heart pastors preach and wedding officiants lead with a decided focus on “being mutually submissive,” in part, i think, to take the sting out of such a clear command to place ourselves (not, i will clarify, a command to men to place women) in a place of subjection to another. in essence, we are being called, if we read literally, to make ourselves servants. but rather than see this as a place of fear and dishonor, i see in amazement that we are called (and all Christians, if we do not ignore the later “mutual” call) to a position that holds great power, when we are determined to dive in fearlessly: undaunted by the humble position.
beth moore, in her study believing God, says that God is looking for “stewards who believe He is exactly who He says He is, to loose His heavenly accomplishments on the topsoil of earth.”
of course, of course, there are positions of abuse that we must flee. but i am amazed at how often it’s in making myself smaller, that He desires to make my role in eternity greater… for my good and for His glory.
will you share your own experience in serving, in daring to be small, to have a role that is great in the Kingdom?