With a good friend of mine, I read Elisabeth Elliot’s book on the life of Amy Carmichael. A charismatic, convicted woman, Amy pioneered across China and Burma in a time when being a missionary was a foreign idea, let alone a woman. Over and over again she would say that she simply wanted to tell others about Jesus and die. She understood she was a nobody, a nothing. She lived her life for Jesus, and just like when anyone does, she was not forgotten. Her legacy lives on, eternally. God established the work of her hands; her childrens’ home and hospital still exists in India.
The book is thick, dark blue, and its title shines in gold on my nightstand. A Chance to Die. Morning after morning, day after day, I would pass by the book, gleaming at me, as I changed diapers, folded one more load of laundry, answered sons’ cries, helped my husband, and thought, maybe I won’t drink my coffee, take a shower, get dressed today…
The message from the Lord wasn’t lost on me. Through the book’s title, and moreover, through Amy’s life (and Elisabeth’s, who I have read so many over her books and love her example of godliness and femininity and discretion) the Lord would whisper “This is your chance to die.”
Die to self. Live for Christ.
This is what being a real, live person is all about.
And I know it may seem silly and I think it’s silly too to think that I in the comfort of my lovely warm home would have the chance to die to myself and live to Christ in a similar way Amy Carmichael would in India, but the thing is, it doesn’t really matter where you are. It is your flesh, which follows you anywhere you go, that must die. And it is Christ in you, who is always with you and never leaves you or forsakes you, who desires to live in you.
And I’m encouraged by this. Because, though I have not gone far, even from where I was born, the Lord is making me new – and truly alive, even in the 1500 square feet that is my home, even inside the 5’3″ person that I am. It’s not in a far away, romantic place. It’s not in extreme conditions. It’s not even in decisions that are difficult. It’s in my life, in my day to day, in my spirit, deciding surrender or obstinance.
In the most rubber-meets-the-road way that I have ever experienced, I daily get to choose to die to myself and live for Christ as a mommy to two sons, as a wife to a diligent working, godly man, my husband.
This life, after all, is a chance to die.