February 26, 2020
What You Have in Common with Princess Diana’s Dress
“Let the favor of the LORD our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!” Psalm 90:17 (ESV)
In her younger years, my mother worked in the fashion industry in England and was employed by a couple of well-known designers.
At one point, she was assigned an elegant black evening dress. She had not been told the name of the client, because only the main designers met with the mysterious customer and conducted her fittings. It wasn’t until the dress was delivered and the client wore it that my mother realized she’d been working on a dress for Princess Diana.
This has become one of the legendary moments in our family: Our talented mother created a dress for the beloved princess. And she did not even know it at the time!
I think this story captures something about our work on this earth that we often overlook.
Our perspective in this world is narrow. We are unaware of all the “Princess Diana dresses” of our lives. It isn’t until we’re given the perspective of heaven that God will reveal to us the ordinary moments that were, in fact, extraordinary by heaven’s standards.
For the past year, I have been studying a woman in the Bible who embodies this reality: Priscilla. She was a wife, a friend, a worker of leather and a servant of Christ. In her own lifetime, Priscilla would probably not have been aware of how extraordinarily influential her simple choices would prove.
Priscilla hosted a house church alongside her husband, Aquila. They both taught the riches of the gospel. They ministered with Paul and even helped save his life.
But Priscilla could not have fully grasped the far-reaching consequences of those small gatherings in her home. She could not have known what every loving hug, modest meal, wise teaching or counsel from a spiritual mother would ultimately accomplish. She would have had no way of knowing how her every prayer, every God-drenched act of love, every sleepless night of service would help transform the world.
And transform the world it did.
Priscilla, Aquila and their friends might have started with small house churches, but years later, their faith and service spread throughout the world. Greece became Christian. Rome became Christian. The Gentile world caught the fire of faith, and hearts turned to Jesus over the centuries. No small part of that changed world was a result of Priscilla’s simple faithfulness to the seemingly humble tasks God placed before her. She allowed God to establish the work of her hands. And she honored the words of the psalmist:
“Let the favor of the LORD our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!” (Psalm 90:17)
I think of my own life today — how small and limited it sometimes feels. How ordinary. And yet, like Priscilla, when you and I choose merely to take one faithful step in this moment, to utter one weary, God-surrendered prayer about our work, we are fulfilling a much larger destiny than we could have thought or imagined. We are making princess dresses when it seems we are simply accomplishing our everyday responsibilities.
As daughters of Priscilla, we are spiritual mothers, tentmakers and prayer warriors. We host the Lord’s people in our homes and contend for the faith. We grow weary but press on. We feel overwhelmed but love valiantly. We face danger and stand firm. These are heroic decisions. Don’t doubt that. They are mighty in the sight of God. They are the stuff of eternity, the key to unlocking heavenly destinies. They turn mundane work into princess dresses.
If you’re sometimes tempted to believe your work doesn’t amount to much, or if you feel it’s small and unimportant — that your life is wasted on tedious things — then take a moment right now, and ask God to give you eyes to see the princess dresses He has entrusted into your care.
Lord, remind me that, like Priscilla, my ordinary work and my simple choices to love, persevere and pray in the midst of my labors lead to an extraordinary destiny. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Colossians 3:23, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” (ESV)
If you want to be transported into Priscilla’s world, read the novel, Daughter of Rome by Tessa Afshar. With impeccable research and vivid detail, Daughter of Rome is both an emotive love story and an immersive journey through first-century Rome and Corinth that will help bring the Bible to life.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Can you think of one thing in your life that is a princess dress in heaven’s eyes? Join the conversation, and let us hear your thoughts!
© 2020 by Tessa Afhsar. All rights reserved.