When we look around at the world and the church, there’s so much work to be done. Sometimes it’s overwhelming, yet we so eagerly want to contribute.
When Christina Rossetti felt this way she wrote “Send Me”.
Use me, God, in Thy great harvest field,
Which stretcheth far and wide like a wide sea;
The gatherers are so few; I fear the precious yield
Will suffer loss. Oh, find a place for me!
A place where best the strength I have will tell:
It may be one the older toilers shun;
Be it a wide or narrow place, ‘tis well
So that the work it holds be only done.
Yes, when we look around us, we can be overwhelmed at all that needs to be done. With Rossetti, we want to say, “The gatherers are so few; I fear the precious yield will suffer loss. Oh, find a place for me!”
And there are untold places that need workers. Surely, we can make a difference, somehow.
Yet, most of us already have a place designed for us, a calling that takes up the bulk of our time. And it is very important, so important that if we neglect it we are in danger of actively destroying the harvest we want to help gather. Listen:
We must learn to
- love our husbands and children,
- be self-controlled and pure,
- be busy at home,
- be kind, and
- be subject to our husbands,
so that no one will malign the word of God because of us. (Titus 2:3-5)
The terrible possibility in that last line haunts me sometimes. But there is also great hope in it, because it gives deep meaning to our everyday lives. By being faithful in the ordinary, everyday things, we prevent the word of God from being maligned because of us.
For most of my dear readers, and for me, this means that our roles as wife, mother, and homeschooler are our calling and our place. Yes, we can fit other things into cracks of spare time; sometimes other service is even involved in our daily tasks.
But over and over we need to examine ourselves and our priorities. Are we loving our husbands and our children? Are we self-controlled and pure? Are we busy at home? Are we kind? Do we subject ourselves to our husbands? Because, right now, this is our calling, and this is the place where God sends us.
Now, it is not always easy to know what these questions mean in our daily practicalities. Each of them has been endlessly discussed over cups of coffee, from pulpits, and in books. It is not always easy to find out what pleases the Lord and yet, because we are children of the light, this is what we aim for (Ephesians 5:10). Of course we will make mistakes, sometimes serious ones, and we always sin, but we can pray that our failures will not have eternal consequences for anyone.
I find great comfort in Proverbs 3:5,6:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own insight.
In all your ways acknowledge him
and he will make straight your paths.
On the other hand, if we do not trust in the Lord and do rely on our own insight—or on that of the world, our friends, Pinterest, common sense, or whatever else—we can expect negative consequences.
There is such a harvest waiting!
So we pray with Christina Rossetti, “Send me, O Lord!”
And most of us will be sent to that simple, ordinary, but oh-so-important place, home.