I have been reading Elisabeth Elliot’s “Secure in the Everlasting Arm” and found this chapter on “The Suffering of a Housewife” just too beautiful! Here is what she wrote!
A young mother asked how on earth she is to learn to love the Lord, grow in grace and be truly holy in the midst of general chaos – hard work, very limited means, little chance for fellowship, and her own children disobeying, screaming, and frighting.
It is tempting to imagine that, given a different lot in life, circumstances other than those in which we find ourselves, we would make much greater strides in holiness. The truth is that the place where we are is God’s schoolroom, not somewhere else. Here we may be conformed to the likeness of Christ.
It takes adversity of one kind or another. There is no other way. “For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake” (Philippians 1:29). This dear woman had not thought of the word “suffering”. To her it was just the awful “dailiness of husband and children, the same dishes and clothes to be washed, the house to be cleaned a thousand times, the monotonous repetition of “Do this”, “Don’t do that”, the sheer unmanageability of it all.
“God is asking you simply to be what you are”, I told the young mother, and to be just that with love, with her heart’s acceptances, and without fretting. How comforting to know that the Lord who made us never forgets that we are dust! Our love will fail, our hearts will balk, we will fret. But our very powerlessness is the place where His power is manifested, where His all-sufficient grace is given.
The trivial round, the common task,
Will furnish all we ought to ask-
Room to deny ourselves, a road
To bring us daily nearer to God
Hannah Whitall Smith said, “He does not need to transplant us into a different field . . . He transforms the very things that were before our greatest hindrances, into the chiefest and most blessed means of our growth. No difficulties in your case can baffle Him . . . Put yourself absolutely into His hands, and let Him have His own way with you.”