We often say we will do anything the Lord asks of us, but there are times when we wonder if he knows what he’s asking. That’s why Elisabeth Elliot helps me with my perspective on the issue when I read these words:
There is no work in the world which is, in and of itself, Christian. Christian work is any kind of work, from cleaning a sewer to preaching a sermon, that is done by a Christian and offered to God. This means that nobody is excluded from serving God.Elisabeth Elliot, Discipline
When I was in high school, I worked a summer at a Christian conference center. I knew the place well, as my mother had worked in the library there and taught at conferences over the years. So, when I signed up to go, I obviously put the library as my first choice.
We didn’t know our job assignments until after we arrived, and you can imagine my disappointment when I was handed a paper revealing I would be doing housekeeping in one of the lodges.
Housekeeping? Really? That meant I would have to make beds, clean rooms and toilets! I quickly slipped away to the restroom and had a good cry.
Picking my pride up off the floor, I returned to the group and joined three other girls who would spend their summer with me at the lodge under the supervision of Mr. and Mrs. Bush. I learned a lot that summer, not only about how to clean but about how to do everything to God’s glory. My work at keeping rooms clean allowed our guests to relax and take in all God was wanting to do in and through them during their week at a conference.
Some thirty-nine years later, I am still in touch with Mrs. Bush. Though her husband has since passed away, we continue to write and stay connected. She prayed for me during my years in overseas missions and after my own husband left this world. Her work was not just to supervise young girls, but to build relationships for the Kingdom.
Because of my experience that summer, I can now accept what Paul wrote to the believers in Corinth:
What do you do? Whatever it is, do it for the Lord and to his glory. You’ll be blessed if you do.
Grace and Peace