Original Post Date: April 18, 2020
White spaces. You just passed five. You saw the words, but did you see the white spaces? The Bible is a book that highlights many people. We see their major accomplishments and blunders, but in between there are these wonderful phrases like, “two years later” (Joseph in prison), or “year after year” (Hannah pleads with God for a child). We see the highlights of their lives, but do we ever think about the white spaces?
“And there was a woman who for eighteen years had had a sickness caused by a spirit; and she was bent double, and could not straighten up at all” (Luke 13:11). See the white spaces?
We don’t know how old she was when she became bent over, but then she lived for eighteen years bent over. Eighteen years of pain. Eighteen years of not being able to function in society. Eighteen years of staring at her knees.
Then, in a split second, not knowing why God had brought her through eighteen years of misery to this moment in time, her life was translated into an eternal lesson written in a few verses for millions of people to contemplate. After that, back to the white space of her life, living as “that woman Jesus healed.”
Sometimes I feel the world’s pull to live for the flashy and amazing – like every time I get an alumni magazine and see that, surprise-surprise, once again I did not win the Alumni of the Year award. I haven’t started a successful business. I haven’t achieved a lofty title in a prestigious organization. I haven’t written a book. I haven’t made a new scientific discovery. I haven’t achieved political notoriety. I’m nobody. I’ve “done nothing.”
1. Define yourself biblically
Thankfully, God’s idea of an amazing, noteworthy woman is nothing like the world’s. His award-winning woman has a gentle and quiet spirit (1 Pet. 3:4). She is a worker at home and teaches what is good (Tit. 2:3-5). She is a faithful servant (Mark 10:43-45). She loves and respects her husband (Eph. 5:33). She does not bring shame on the gospel (Tit. 2:10; Phil. 1:27). She makes a thousand meals, washes a thousand loads of laundry, and serves a thousand saints. She prays through hard relationships, devastating illness, and wayward children. Then she does it again. Over and over and over, she perseveres in the white spaces of the mundane.
2. Be faithful in the little things
Living in the white spaces means daily “laying down our lives for the brethren” (1 John 3:16). Those miracle moments will happen in the midst of our faithfulness. When we least expect it, God will do a miracle in a conversations with our kids, in our interactions in the workplace, or in the rides to church we give to the kids down the street. God will use us when we are where we’re supposed to be, doing what He has called us to do. We don’t need to wait for a miraculous moment to feel successful.
Let the world have the bold print. Let the world have the front cover of the alumni magazine. God created us for the white spaces.