I have learned, and am learning still, that we are called to pour forth every facet of our lives in worship. There are many spheres of our lives (motherhood being one that I am knee-deep in at the moment) in which we have the opportunity to present a beautiful aroma of worship to the Lord through the daily, constant, repetitive acts of faithfulness we are called to: folding laundry, shaping little souls (where many times we may feel like a broken record as we go over the same corrections), creating three meals a day, clearing out the kitchen sink, sweeping up those ever-present crumbs yet again, staying up late to meet a deadline at work, sacrificially tending to the needs of others, and creating a home filled with peace and love.
Simply put, this means pouring out to those around us in whatever sphere of life the Lord has planted us. These are all acts of worship if done as unto Him; a pleasing aroma to the Lord, poured forth at His feet like Mary’s costly jar of perfume (John 12:3).
One story of faithfulness that has impacted me has been that of a lovely lady named Lilias Trotter. She lived in such a poured-out way. The Lord gave her a great gift to be able to see beauty and capture it through painting. She spent many years of her life cultivating this talent and had a promising career ahead of her. But then Lilias felt the Lord was asking her to give her art back to Him and place her future in His capable and tender hands. It was a costly request that she willingly laid at His feet. Now that we can look back through her journals we see that even in the midst of her cross-cultural missions, she filled pages and pages of her journals with beautiful paintings and lessons she learned. It was priceless incense that she poured out on her Savior’s feet—for no other eyes to see. Not for the praise of men, but in worship of her Master, the Creator of all the beauty that surrounded her. It was, at times, costly, but she washed His feet in adoration, for He alone is worthy. And He has used her life and artwork to touch many lives in a poignant way—a way that, even after her lifetime ended here on earth, the sweet fragrance of her worship to the Lord lingers on and is still affecting lives for the Kingdom.
This is an excerpt from her biography, A Passion for the Impossible: The Life of Lilias Trotter: “At times Lilias could not see the fruits of her labor but was comforted by the image of a bee who left ‘life, life, life’ behind with every flower.” How may we fully embrace the truth that only God can see the full fruition of our service, most often in our hidden service and sacrifices to Him? How do we cultivate patience and faith and steadfast consistency when our earthy labors seem to bear no fruit, or go unseen or unrecognized?
Whatever we do, we do all for the glory of God (Colossians 3:17; 1 Corinthians 10:31). We “work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men” (Colossians 3:23). Our service is unto the Lord, pouring out all to Him and Him alone. Sisters, nothing is wasted on the Lord. He sees what is done in secret. It is a sweet savor to Him.
Even the way God sent His Son to the hidden and quiet place of a woman's womb showcases to us what a life of hiddenness can look like. That even the Son of God came into this world and lived a quiet life—blooming, flourishing, worshiping. That is where faithfulness begins, where the blossoming of our souls starts—the very place we can pour out worship to Him is in those acts of faithfulness in the small corners of our humble days (1 Thessalonians 4:11). In those “in between moments” of our lives.
God sees those who are faithful in the secret. Let us not be like the Pharisees, who wanted to be praised and noticed for their holiness, praying and fasting for all to see. Jesus shared in Matthew 23:27–28 that they were like whitewashed tombs— appearing righteous and holy on the outside, but far from it on the inside. They were seeking only the validation and lifting up of themselves rather than the glory and worship of their Lord.
An outpouring of love to the Lord doesn’t have to be validated by others in the realm of social media, where I think sometimes we feel we need to share or our efforts may go unnoticed. My dear sister, nothing is hidden from His sight. We don’t need the applause and affirmation of others to satisfy us. Especially in this day and age, we are tempted to use our sphere of influence to get endorsement, approval, and recognition from others. You are known by Him in the most sacred and secret recesses of your heart. He sees you. He knows you. He created you. As we are fully satisfied in our glorious Lord, as we seek to worship Him though every moment of our days, we don’t need the affirmation of mere mortals to quench our desire to be known—because we are so beautifully and intimately known by Him.
Allow the Lord to bring your soul into blossom in the hidden moments. Inevitably, a life poured out in worship can not be covered as its undiluted aroma drifts to all nearby. Just as the sweet scent of lilac fills the spring air, delighting all who smell them, so a life poured out in worship will be evident to all who witness it, and through it the sweet fragrance Christ is spread (2 Corinthians 2:14–15).
This kindles a desire deep within my soul to be a sweet fragrance to my Lord though my hidden life. May I be counted, with Mary and Lillias, in the number who live hidden lives faithfully. The ordinary heroism of faithful people may not be like a captivating meteor streaking across the night sky, but more like a faithful star that rises every night.—constant, shining.
My dear sisters, let's live out each day to the hilt with a focus and a drive to seek and serve the Lord faithfully in the beautifully ordinary tasks we have been given. This is an act of worship. May our lives be hidden in Christ (Colossians 3:3); may they be lives of integrity, compassion, and quiet faithfulness to delight our King.