I recently finished reading Kevin de Young’s The Hole in our Holiness. This wasn’t an extremely profound book, but it still had some very good and helpful insights, particularly these from the concluding chapter:
(Quoting Horatius Bonar) “’…holiness is not measured by ‘one great heroic act or mighty martyrdom. It is of small things that a great life is made up’…Holiness is the sum of a million little things…”
“God wants you to be holy. Through faith he already counts you holy in Christ. Now he intends to make you holy with Christ.”
“God saved you to sanctify you. God is in the beautification business, washing away spots and smoothing out wrinkles.”
~Kevin deYoung, The Hole in our Holiness
I am a wife and stay-at-home, homeschooling mom. I don’t really want to be doing anything else. Yet, we live in the context of a ministry organization in Africa. Every day I live with the unspoken pressure that I should be doing something ‘more’, something really big for God. And yet, that isn’t what God has called me to. He’s called me to support my husband in his ministry-work, to teach and disciple my children, to be available for those ‘little’ needs that pop up in our community here and there. I struggle with this. Why did He call ME to Africa if not to do something big for Him? I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.
“Holiness is the sum of ‘a million little things.’” This spoke to me. God’s will for me is my sanctification. I’m not aware of anywhere in the Bible where it says God’s will for me is to do Big and Important Things for Him. (Yes, we are called to do ‘good works’, but those don’t have to be Big. They are for some people, but not for most of us – even those of us serving in overseas ministry.) But He does want me to be faithful. And He does want me to be holy. He wants to make me beautiful. And he places me in the circumstances where He can best work to that end. I am realizing that I need to let go of that pressure to do something important – or perhaps more honestly to do something that people will recognize as important – and be available and willing to be shaped and molded by Him. Because in the end, that is what really matters.