We have come to the conclusion of our series on faithful biblical women.
Yes, there are more we could discuss, such as Mary Magdalene, Anna the Prophetess, Phillip's four daughters, Dorcas, Lydia of Thyatira, the Samaritan woman at the well, Shiphrah and Puah, the two faithful midwives in the Book of Exodus, as well as many, many others.
The series would never seem to end, and that thought leaves me feeling very warm. When Christ eventually holds up the quilt depicting the trail of his Word through the six thousand years from Adam to Christ's return, we will see it dotted all the way through with faithful women that time has all but forgotten, and if not for the Bible they would have been. We cannot forget that for most of the faithful woman mentioned, there will also be faithful helpers whose lives have not been documented. God knows every one of them by name, as he knows your name right now.
In each of their era's none of them thought their names would be preserved for historical purposes, but God made sure they were.
Revelation chapters 1-3, records the letters to the seven churches. The Lord ends every letter with a certain type of signature, "to the overcomers." Each church had to overcome certain issues, just as we have things in our lives to overcome. Were the women of faith we have just read about perfect? No. Did God wait until they had reached a particular stage of spiritual growth before he used them?
He might have with some of them, such as Hannah. Maybe God held back the birth of her first child until a particular change of heart? But, for most of them, they were used right where they were at the time and were strengthened by God to get a job done.
You will be the same. We are on a pathway from faith to faith, from ridding ourselves of our humanity within us that is unusable in the Kingdom of God to filling ourselves up with the Holy Spirit. On our pathway, God can and will use us right where we are, so don't think you will never be used by God, as he had probably already used you many times more than you know.
How are you going with your spiritual life? Do you go through the emotional ups and downs, one day flying with eagles and the next feeling like a worthless wretch? Our women of faith did.
Those spiritual and emotional parts of us are sewn together so we can feel the experiences, so we can enjoy the exhilaration of being captivated by the Holy Spirit in times of great worship, yet also bear the weight of unworthiness and the depths of hopelessness as human beings failing again. These mountains of success and valleys of despair are in our walk until we come to the place of total abandonment of our natural lives and desires, until all we want is a full and complete reliance on the Holy Spirit for our very breath.
I have really enjoyed exploring what seemed to make these women tick, to find out they were normal and not people of unreachable heights. They had their failings as we do, and successes as we do. Their lives weren't perfect, and more interesting is that their circumstances were far from perfect.
Sometimes we think,"if only I lived in a better place I could do more for Christ, or if only had had a bit more money I could devote more of my time to him, or if I wasn't so sick or if I didn't have to work so hard, or if my family had life together a bit more I could do so much more."
The Biblical women were no different from you now — right now. Abigail had a beast for a husband. Hannah had a husband who said he loved her but took on another to give him his children. Leah was despised all her life, Sarah laughed at God's suggestion of her having a child, and Miriam talked behind her brother's back. I'm sure they had more failures than the ones we see.
When we read the Bible, what's missing are the average faults of our heroes of faith. For instance, it doesn't record how many times Abraham told Sarah "Don't worry about the make-up, we're only going shopping." or how many times Sarah told Abraham "pick up your clothes after you." All those little day-to-day discussions are missing from the Bible. God chose to leave that stuff out because they are irrelevant for documentation. God is more interested in our attitude to continual improvement, to growing more and more like Jesus Christ, where our tongues are harnessed, our minds transformed and our hearts pure.
We look at our women of faith to see that God will use us in our own circles of life. Jesus is calling all of us higher and deeper into the spiritual life, but along that way, we will be used time and time again for his purposes. We may not see these as important, but every instance is recorded in Heaven. God does not forget anything done for the furtherance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Keep marching on in faith.