On the wall in my little kitchen hangs a simple black sign with white letters. I saw it one day on a website and knew I had to order it! The day it arrived I excitedly tore open the box, pulled out the sign, hammered a nail into the wall, and hung it in a spot where it would serve as a daily reminder of the only reason I am able to serve and love the people God brings into my life. The sign says,
“We love because He first loved us.”
As I have gotten older, I have become more acutely aware of how pitifully weak I am. I have also become more aware than ever before of who the Source of all my living, serving, and loving others is. Sadly, my flesh often fights for attention, wanting others to look to me, rather than directing them to my Source of strength: The One who first loved us!
A few years ago, God allowed me to see a beautiful example of a woman who sought to direct others to Her Savior. It was one of those moments when your eyes are supernaturally opened, and you know that God has flung back the curtains, putting the spotlight on something that He wants you to see. I had the privilege of attending a conference where missionary/author Elisabeth Elliot was the main speaker. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. I was completely overwhelmed and fought back tears the entire day.
What was it about her that brought me to tears? Was it that she was beautiful, successful, or that she had published over 20 books? Was she an eloquent speaker? Fashionably dressed? Well educated with fancy degrees? Was she young and relatable? No. Other than publishing over 20 books, most of these things do not describe her.
She was an older, average looking woman, and was soft spoken. Her dress, although tasteful, was somewhat plain. She had graduated from college, but most of her “education” came from life, trials, and years spent on the mission field. What she had to share came from years of experiencing God through tragedy, loss, and living for Him. She never sought recognition, fame, to be published, and she never promoted herself. She was a simple woman who served God, and God decided to use her life to mentor others and to help make His name famous.
When the conference was over, she led over 2,000 women in a closing prayer. After the prayer, she began to make her way down the middle aisle to the back of the auditorium. As she started down the aisle, all 2,000 women stood and began to give her a standing ovation.
She immediately put her head down and thrust her hand over her head – pointing up. She wanted the glory to go to God alone.
Overwhelmed with the desire to emulate what God had allowed me to see, I burst into tears. That day I knew I wanted to serve God in a deeper way, by serving my family and those whom He has chosen for me to live life with. If He chose to do anything more than that, may it be to make HIS name famous.
When my life calling is finished, may the image that I leave be one of my head bowed, and my finger pointing up to the One who first loved me. His example of sacrificially giving His own life for my sin is the example that I desire to focus on every day. That daily reminder of undeserved grace is what keeps me serving the precious people who are placed in my life, and who are so desperately needful of being directed to Him in all things.