I recently finished reading the biography of Elisabeth Elliot. Elisabeth, or Betty, as she was more fondly called was the wife of Jim Elliot. He is well known as one of five missionaries killed while trying to make contact with the Auca, a tribe from Ecuador.
While the book was captivating from beginning to the end, there was one part that caught my attention. Betty’s calling was to translate the Bible into new languages. This was no easy task. It took a whole lot of people to make this happen - from finding dependable people to learn the new language to writing and printing the language.
On one her first missions, Betty sought to learn the language of the Colorado Indians. Whilst she had tried to approach many Colarado Indian to help her, no one was really bothered or committed to it. God sent help in the form of a man who was not a Colorado Indian but spoke the language fluently.
“Don Macario was a middle-aged Ecuadorian man… He told Betty that he had been raised on a hacienda (a large plantation) right alongside Colorado children. He had played with them, and in the process he had learn to speak and learnt the language fluently…he explained that he would be happy to serve as Betty’s informant. Betty was ecstatic…God had answered her prayers and sent her possibly the only person in the world who was fluent in both language of the Colorados and Spanish, which she could speak and understand, making the whole process of communication so much easier for her.”
I marveled at the fact that even when Don was a child, God had started preparing him for a time in his life when he will serve God in his own special way. Who would think that playing with your friends as a child would be the groundwork for Bible translation years later. But that is exactly the case with Don.
And then God steps in
It is no surprise that this is the case with many people in the Bible. People that are busy in their routine and attentive to their work at hand. And then God steps in.
Think of Rebekah who was going about her chores to draw water from the well. And then God stepped in. She met Abraham's servant and eventually married Isaac. (Genesis chapter 24).
Think of the little boy with the five loaves of bread and two fishes who was simply going about with his lunch. And then God stepped in. Jesus used those very bread to feed thousands of men, with plenty leftover. (John chapter 6).
Think of David - just a young boy tending to his sheep. And then God stepped in. God used him to defeat Goliath and made him a king. (1 Samuel chapter 16 & 17).
Do not despisethe ordinary and routine
It is always exciting to read and hear how God steps in and we get an amazing story of what He is doing.But we tend to forget what all the people were doing when He stepped in. They were doing what was ordinary and what was required of them.
Although the routine can become mundane, do not despise it. “Whatever you do, do it from the heart, as something done for the Lord and not for people.” (Colossians chapter 3, verse 23).
More often than not, this is where we do a lot of growing spiritually. This is where God will break,mouldand build us. He uses this time to prepare us to accomplish the things He has prepared for us to do during our short time here on Earth.
Mussita Ng is a follower of Jesus Christ from Wellington, New Zealand. Her previous articles may be viewed at https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mussita-ng.html