Happy in Humble Circumstances

While reading my devotions, I stumbled upon James 1:9-10.

“The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower” (NIV).

This scripture stood out to me because of its paradox. The brother in humble circumstances should take pride in his high position. High position? You mean the brother who can’t afford the expensive suit is in a high position. The woman in the beat up car that keeps breaking down or the church that can’t afford A/C should take pride in their high positions? My coupon-clipping self should take pride in my high position? Doesn’t the world tell us that all of these circumstances equal mediocrity? And yet, here the Bible defines them as a high position while defining the rich as a low position. Wow!

So many times as mothers, we do not feel validated in the work that we do in our families. And even if you are a mother in the ministry like me who does not have the luxury of traveling or preaching at every revival. You may wrestle with feelings of mediocrity. Sadly, even in ministry, the mainstream will not validate you because being a mother does not include the accouterments that come with “popular ministry”. There are no fancy hotels, expensive suits and no accolades. When was the last time you saw a mainstream ministry or mega-church award a wife and mother for serving her family well and in the fashion of Christ? However, even the popularity and benefits of mainstream ministry are considered a low position according to this text.

Not of This World

Time and time again the Lord reminds me that I am not of this world so why do I expect the world to receive me as one of its own or validate me. Hebrews 11:13-16 talks about how Abraham, Sarah and others regarded themselves as aliens.

“And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them” (Hebrews 11:13b-16 NIV).

Here the Lord reminds us that we are sojourners not residents of the world. The Lord reinforces this to me especially now that I am a wife and mother. My priorities are out-of-wack with the world’s priorities. My priority is my family. My ministry is my family. My husband and son come first before my service in the church. And rightly so, the family is the first institution established by God. My husband and my son are the firstfruits of those that God has called me to minister to. But, this type of mentality is not rewarded by the world. Stay-at-home or working mothers with Godly priorities are not regarded as doing anything important according to the world. We wash dishes and clean up throw up. We do laundry and sweep floors. We don’t do our business in the boardrooms. Our business is in the bedrooms (i.e., reading children to sleep and getting them ready for school). However, just because we deal with throw up, poo poo and laundry doesn’t mean that we are no less valuable in the Kingdom. Our positions may be humble, but they are highly regarded by the Lord. We are foundation builders. We are generation shapers. We have the influence that Esther had with the king with our husbands. Imagine the influence that we have in almost every industry of business and service through our husbands? We are powerful people. We have the opportunity to influence and shape generations through the rearing of our children.

Sometimes it’s hard to feel validated when your day is filled with seemingly mundane activities, but we can rejoice and take pride in our high positions knowing that God has a purpose and a plan for us as wives and mothers. The world will not validate us because we don’t belong to the world. We belong to Christ. We can find true happiness in humble circumstances when we seek validation from the only one who can open our eyes to see the eternal impact that we make as submitted wives and mothers.

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