Marvelously Working

By: Jenni Walker

“You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain…” (John 15:16a)

“The same God so marvelously working there is in the house with me.  I shall have a little revival of my own.” (Ruth Bell Graham – penned early in her husband Billy’s ministry when he was preaching to over 40,000 people in another state.)

*          *          * 

There are many opportunities to be “on-mission” for Christ.  But sometimes in wanting to do something big for God, we overlook one of the most powerful ways to put the gospel on display: by being present in our callings right where we are at!  Ephesians 2:8-10 reminds us, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”  We are only saved by the grace of God alone; our works never make us more worthy of God’s love or acceptance.  And yet, we are His workmanship; our Heavenly Father has prepared good works in advance for us to walk out, and a huge part of that is to be present and “on-mission” in each season of life.

As women of God, we fill many roles at different points in our lives, often simultaneously.  Some of them include being a daughter of the King (the umbrella which all other roles fall under!), a wife, mother, grandmother, employee, volunteer, leader, student, friend, and so many more that can be lifelong or specific to your season of life.

Each one of these include their own special call to be “on-mission.”  One or many of these may apply to you simultaneously!  All of them involve ministry, a servant’s heart, a calling, and a purpose.   All of them are important to God and will bear eternal fruit for His kingdom!  In John 15:16a, Jesus says to His disciples, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain…”

One of my favorite examples of a woman who lived with an understanding of her calling as a daughter of her Heavenly Father, a wife, a mother, and many other roles, is that of Ruth Graham.  The Legacy of a Couple: Ruth and Billy Graham by Hanspeter Nuesch.  This book took me several months to read as I pored over the in-depth first-hand accounts of Ruth and Billy Graham’s lives, commentary, and personal insights.  Every couple of pages has a dog-eared corner and multiple paragraphs marked or underlined.  In a chapter entitled “Intimacy – Living in God’s Presence,” a neighbor of the Grahams, Betty Frist, is quoted as describing Ruth Graham in the following way:

“Ruth has come as near as anyone I know to fulfilling the command of Christ to ‘pray without ceasing.’  She calls prayer her ‘continuing conversation’ with God.  Her impact on Billy, the children, friends, relatives, and the thousands of others whose lives she’s been able to bless is due in great measure to the fact that her whole life is criss-crossed by prayer.  From childhood, she has had daily audiences with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, who uses earthly thrones as His footstools.”  Ruth’s entire heart and life belonged to the Lord, and as a result, who she was had a powerful impact on others.

Ruth also never let herself despise the seemingly small or mundane parts of life.  In response to being a stay-at-home mom while her husband was preaching to people around the world, she stated, “If it’s God’s will for me here and now to do the washing up, then I want to do this gladly, by honoring the Lord.”  Early in Billy’s ministry when he was preaching to over 40,000 people in Columbia, South Carolina, she penned a diary entry that reads: “God is not limited to Columbia.  The same God so marvelously working there is in the house with me.  I shall have a little revival of my own.”

Ruth’s impact on others began with her intimacy with the Lord.  From there, she walked out her callings in various roles to the glory of God.  We often have many roles at different points in our lives as women, and we can come to view each season as a calling prepared for us by God.  Here are just a few practical ideas to help us as wholehearted women of to live on-mission right where we are at!

  • Wife – “…And the two shall become one flesh. This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.  Nevertheless, let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband” (Ephesians 5:31b-33).  Ladies, let’s each lift our husband up! Pray for him, support him, encourage him, and love him.  Ask God to help you see your marriage as a holy calling!
  • Mother – Every day as a mother is filled with opportunities to connect with the heart of the child(ren) given to you by the Lord.  God has specific plans and purposes for each one!  Each developmental stage is different, and no child is exactly alike another by God’s design. Seek the Lord, stay intentional, and embrace the joy of each day! Whether teaching your children to put dirty laundry in the laundry basket, to organize school supplies, or drive a car, watch for opportunities to involve them in being on-mission in the season they are in, too!  They can show kindness to a lonely peer, make a craft for a neighbor or an elderly family member, invite friends to church, live their faith on the field/in their academic endeavors/through their creative pursuits, and join the family in church and community outreach or even a mission trip.  Help them learn to seek the Lord in all things and respond to His leading.
  • Coworker/friend/family member – Let your light shine! You love Jesus with all your heart, and others can experience His love through you. So be a witness in all that you do and say (Philippians 2:14-16).  Seek the Lord for opportunities to share your faith, to be a witness of His faithfulness, and to help you love others with the transforming love of Christ!
  • Daughter of the King – “Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all. Charm is deceitful, and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.  Give her the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates” (Proverbs 31:29-31).  No matter your season of life or where God is calling you to, your identity in Christ and as the daughter of your Heavenly Father remains true.  Keep growing in personal relationship with Him, and let Him carry you and guide you.  You are His, and He is the One at work in and through you (Isaiah 43:1, 46:4; Philippians 2:13)!

Ladies, let’s live daily on-mission in the specific roles our Lord has called us to as we follow Jesus and watch for opportunities to reach others with the life-changing light, love, and truth of the gospel!  Let’s each keep an eternal perspective intentionally and wholeheartedly.  As Ruth Graham penned in her diary, the same God working in another part of the country or even on the other side of the world is “marvelously working” right where He has called you!  May we live every day in the roles He has called us to as we respond to His invitation to join in His mission and purposes in this earth.  

Time to Reflect

1. Take some time to reflect honestly about today’s devotion topic.  What is the Holy Spirit ministering to your heart?

2. Revisit today’s Scripture passages. What do these verses teach us about Jesus?  How do they change things? (i.e. The way that we live?  What we live for?  Our experience of God?)

*          *          *

This devotion contains excerpts from The Wholehearted Woman: Who She is and Why She Matters  by Beth Doohan & Jenni Walker.