Courage to Live a Quiet Life

We don’t travel to the post office in the middle of the city much, but when we do, I can count on a few greeting cards for the last few holidays (significant or not) from two of our supporting churches who regularly send us notes of encouragement. More often than not, there is also a postmarked gift of love all the way from Middletown, Ohio. I smile while I read over the small, formerly blank card scripted in perfect penmanship with nothing but Scriptures to encourage my soul. There are very few words other than an “I love you” or “God bless you” — the sweet woman of God lets the Word of God speak for itself. I am always amazed at how spot on some of the chosen passages are for what I am currently dealing with in life or ministry.

I picture this precious silver-haired lady who spent what should have been her child-free moments when her own were at school caring for me as a baby and long into my childhood. She always reminded me when I complained about any particular set of circumstances that, “Some days are like that.” Her TV tray always had an open Bible, notebooks, and note cards at the ready except for when she loaned it to me to color on while putting the time in potty-training. I didn’t know then how special these things were.

I’ve been thinking lately how, all my life, the women I have admired the most were those quietly serving Jesus in their corner of the world without fanfare or even recognition most of the time. I saw the depth of their character ooze out in small bits of Sunday school lessons and crockpot hospitality. I was encouraged by faithfulness exemplified in folded arms cradling feverish babies and stolen opportunities for sharing the Good News. I greatly admire the Nancy Leigh DeMosses and the Katie Majors of the world who steward large ministries in incredible ways, but there is something particularly moving about the unrecognized saints quietly doing the Lord’s work wherever their daily paths take them.

My desires to love big and serve God with my life are clearly not wrong desires, but I so often long for them on a scale that may be beyond what God has for me. Can I be content with my quiet life while also preparing my heart for whatever else He has for me?

These desires are from God, and I must allow Him to be Lord over them just like the rest of my life. Whether He ever extends the borders of my sphere of influence is completely subject to His divine discretion. He will enable me to complete each tiny task or insurmountable agenda through His power alone, and I must train myself to be thankful for each and every good work He springs up in my life.

As I advance in age, I hope I lose any ambition to be something other than smitten with the Savior. I pray I’ll have the courage to quietly tend to the work He has given me to do no matter how insignificant it may seem when stacked against what someone else may be doing. And I hope if there is some younger gal looking into my less-than-mind-blowing life, she will be inspired to glorify God in her own quietly faithful way.

We can teach and clean and care and serve until God takes us home to begin our full-time worship. Because we know and trust Him, we can be sure He will tell us, “Well done” for our faithfulness on a small scale. When He does, all we will be able to say is, “You’ve done great things.”

 

 

9 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing this thoughtful post. There have been and continue to be quiet, unassuming yet wisdom filled people in my life who have has such an impact. In a world where so many want to be noticed and followed it is the selfless individuals who matter most. Enjoyed this immensely.

    • Thank you for reading, Claudio. Praising God for those quiet, intentional people He has put into your life. The pull to be noticed and followed is so strong, but God has blown up my heart with this thought. If we would all intentionally focus on loving and discipling a few and those few did the same and we never stopped, just imagine the impact that could have!

    • I so know what you mean! I struggle with the same thoughts. That day-in-day-out faithfulness is exceptional, though. We SHOULD be pushing to do more for God and expand our reach with heavenly wisdom, but pining for something God may never have for us is certainly not His will for our lives.

  2. Beth

    Oh Amber, I read this with tears in my eyes! I was particularly struggling in this area this week! Thank you! You are one of the best writers I’ve ever read! Thank you for using your talent for the Lord.

    • Beth, I am praising God for using this to encourage your heart. For me, it is a constant struggle. For what it’s worth, you are a REAL hero to me, and I am amazed by the ways God has used your family. And, goodness gracious, thank you for your incredibly kind words of encouragement in regards to my writing!

  3. Pingback: Contentment is Counter-Cultural [Day 22: HELP] - Amber Taube

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