Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler was the first African American woman to earn a medical degree. Yet during her lifetime (1831–95), she recalls being “ignored, slighted and rendered insignificant.” However, she remained devoted to healing and fulfilling her purpose. Crumpler affirmed that although some people might choose to judge her based on her race and gender, she’d always have a “renewed and courageous readiness to go whenever and wherever duty calls,” and that she did. She believed that treating women and children and providing medical attention for freed slaves was a way to serve God. Sadly, she didn’t receive formal recognition for her accomplishments until nearly a century later.
There are times when we’ll be overlooked, devalued, or unappreciated by those around us. Biblical wisdom reminds us, however, that when God has called us to a task, we shouldn’t focus on gaining worldly approval and recognition but should instead “work at it with all [our] heart, as working for the Lord” (Colossians 3:23). When we focus on serving God, we’re able to accomplish even the most difficult tasks with fervor and gladness in His power and leading. We can then become less concerned with receiving earthly recognition and become more eager to receive the reward only He can provide (v. 24).