31 Days With Elisabeth Elliot: Ordinary Work

Elisabeth Elliot2

This is from a longer article “The Mother of the Lord” in the November/December 1986 issue of Elisabeth’s newsletters (it may be in a book as well – some material from the newsletters came from one of her books or later found its way into a book). At first I was only going to quote the last paragraph before the final Scripture verse, but then decided to include the last few paragraphs. Most of us find our ministries in places that Mary did, hidden away at home, and her faithfulness there is an example to us:

The apostle Paul tells us we are “hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3, NIV.) There is mystery there, but when I think of the life of Mary, I see some facets of that mystery that I missed when I read the apostle. Hers was a hidden life, a faithful one, a holy one–holy in the context of a humble home in a small village where there was not very much diversion. She knew that the ordinary duties were ordained for her as much as the extraordinary way in which they became her assignment. She struck no poses. She was the mother of a baby, willing to be known simply as his mother for the rest of her life. He was an extraordinary baby, the Eternal Word, but His needs were very ordinary, very daily, to his mother. Did she imagine that she deserved to be the chosen mother? Did she see herself as fully qualified? Surely not. Surely not more than any other woman who finds herself endowed with the awesome gift of a child. It is the most humbling experience of a woman’s life, the most revealing of her own helplessness. Yet we know this mother, Mary, the humble virgin from Nazareth, as “Most Highly Exalted.”

I am thanking God that unto us a Child was born. I am thanking Him also that there was a pure-hearted woman prepared to receive that Child with all that motherhood would mean of daily trust, daily dependence, daily obedience. I thank Him for her silence. That spirit is not in me at all, not naturally. I want to learn what she had learned so early: the deep guarding in her heart of each event, mulling over its meaning from God, waiting in silence for His word to her.

I want to learn, too, that it is not an extraordinary spirituality that makes one refuse to do ordinary work, but a wish to prove that one is not ordinary–which is a dead giveaway of spiritual conceit. I want to respond in unhesitating obedience as she did: Anything You say, Lord.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

You can read more of this article here.

See all the posts in this series here.

It-is-not-an

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4 thoughts on “31 Days With Elisabeth Elliot: Ordinary Work

  1. Pingback: 31 Days With Elisabeth Elliot | Stray Thoughts

  2. Pingback: Book Review: To Whisper Her Name | Stray Thoughts

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