I regularly receive email messages announcing events designed especially for women. There’s one that catches my attention every time. It isn’t that the organization is authentic and reputable, it’s the label. This label: Extraordinary Women represents ministries to women through conferences and Bible study resources. The women of this network are extraordinary, gifted speakers, singers, and facilitators. I know a countless number of women whose gifts are in areas unlike those of notoriety, yet are truly extraordinary.
I attend a women’s Bible Study with Extraordinary Women from my home church. Together we have discovered what it means to live gracious, productive lives by practicing what we learn from God’s word. Have you ever heard of the fruits of the spirit? The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. – Galatians 5:22 Together we’ve also studied the audacious faith of Daniel, the practical faith of James, and recently, why Jesus is the One and Only. That’s just a few the many topics that served as the centerpieces of spiritual development for our small group of Extraordinary women.
One of the leaders is truly Extraordinary, and I’ve gotten to know her well over the past years of lessons. She lives her faith out loud through hospitality and mentoring. I think of her when I remember the fruits of the spirit from Galatians 5. There’s a sequel to that chapter and right here it is in Galatians 6:10 “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” This friend listens with her heart and acts on opportunity – extraordinary. She asked me one day to pray for the snow to melt from her driveway because she had young women coming to her home for additional Bible study. She embraces and uses her gifts of hospitality, mentoring, and teaching while being wife, mom, grandma, and holding down a job. Extraordinary Woman. I wonder if she’s read this passage in 3John 1:5 that says “Dear friend, when you extend hospitality to Christian brothers and sisters, even when they are strangers, you make the faith visible.” Visible faith – extraordinary.
I can’t count the number of Extraordinary Women I have come to know and love. God has been gracious and brought me friends of extraordinary character, extraordinary talent, extraordinary stamina, extraordinary spiritual insight, extraordinary discernment, and that barely penetrates the qualities of these women I am thankful to call friend – extraordinary.
What does it take to be extraordinary? Well, I can think of a few things – but how about a few highlights from God’s word instead of mine? Ephesians 2:10 “We are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” 1Timothy 6:18 “Command them to use their money for good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.” Hebrews 13:16 “Don’t forget to do good and to share what you have with those in need, for such sacrifices are very pleasing to him.”
I don’t think God will mind if I steal this prayer from David. To all the Extraordinary Women in my life, this is for you today: Psalm 125:4 “Lord, do good to those who are good, to those who are upright in heart.”