“There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.” 1 Samuel 2:2
The more I reflect on Mother’s Day, the more I see its beauty reach far beyond the myriad of flowers and gifts, hugs and cards. I see a beauty that outshines them all, even within the sometimes empty vases and unsent cards. I find that being a mother has been the greatest privilege. Of course, if I am completely honest, I’ll have to admit that motherhood has not always struck me as being great or even a privilege, but looking back through different eyes and a renewed heart, I can now see the immense treasures that have emerged from it.
I can’t even begin to tell you how often I must remind myself that all my failings are not lost in God’s great grace, providence, and sovereign will, and that His mercy has prevailed despite my imperfect past. God is the author and perfecter. If I succeed in motherhood, all praise is due Him. If I fail miserably in motherhood, all praise is still due Him, not so much for my failings or their consequences, but for His immeasurable grace and redemptive work through Christ in spite of them all!
If God can raise the dead (and we were all once dead in sin), He can certainly redeem my wrongs and raise all my children from death to life in Christ. Is anything too hard for Him? Why then do I still pray and wait, wait and pray? I still pray because God is patient! Look, herein lies the beauty of it all, while I’ve been praying and waiting, waiting and praying, God has been changing and shaping me. Yes. Me! God has diverted my eyes from them to my own selfishness, my own self-righteousness, and my own idols.
Most patiently, God has been teaching me to walk, rather than just talk—to actually live out my words according to His Word. He has been showing me the difference between saying and doing, between giving and hoarding. I could not fool God by merely praying, “This child is Your child” and not let go of it. I could not tell God, “This child is Your child” and thereby shun my responsibility to do right by it. Whom was I fooling? Not God!
Did God not know me when He entrusted me with children? Of course He did! He also knew just how miserably I would fail, how much I’d come to rely on Him, and how much He would love and shape me in the process. I’ve learned much, but no matter what I have accomplished or failed to accomplish through my life’s work, nothing will ever compare to the treasures of motherhood that spring from the redemptive heart of God and not my skewed measuring rod.
Although I am an empty nester with recurring bouts of regrets and doubts, God has repeatedly blessed me with greater faith, trust, love, perseverance, forgiveness, grace, and peace, not because all is well (all is not well) but because God is good and knows well His plans and how they will work together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.
All the cobwebs of my yesteryears seem to be made of pure silver and gold in light of God’s mercy and grace, new every morning. There is no darkness found in Him, or variation, or shifting shadows. These are all results of my own vacillating or doubting, and not of His divine and steadfast guidance. I am a mother, a praying, trusting and believing mother because God is good!
May all the mothers who read this be encouraged. It is never too late. God doesn’t make mistakes, but gives beauty for ashes. God makes alive what was dead! God turn’s a mother’s failures into her precious prayers and is pleased to have her, as His own beloved child, to come to Him with all her children and all her hopes for their redemption. Her love, hope, growing faith, and gratitude bring Him much glory and delight. And, will He now give her stones or a scorpion?
But You sent “thine hand from above” (Ps. 144:7) and drew my soul out of that profound darkness because my mother, Your faithful one, wept over me to You, more than mothers weep when their children die. She, by that faith and spirit which she had from You, discerned the death in which I Lay, and You heard her, Lord. You heard her and did not despise her tears when, streaming down, they watered the ground under her eyes in every place where she prayed.”
~ Excerpt from Saint Augustine’s
The Confessions of St. Augustine
May all new mothers and mothers to be who are blessed to be called by His name, read on and be encouraged to persevere, to do right in spite of all trials or opposition. Great is your reward!
I cannot tell how much I owe to the solemn words of my good mother. It was the custom, on Sunday evenings, while we were yet little children, for her to stay at home with us, and then we sat round the table, and read verse by verse, and she explained the Scripture to us. After that was done, then came the time of pleading; there was a little piece of Alleine’s Alarm, or of Baxter’s Call to the Unconverted, and this was read with pointed observations made to each of us as we sat round the table; and the question was asked, how long it would be before we would think about our state, how long before we would seek the Lord.
Then came a mother’s prayer, and some of the words of that prayer we shall never forget, even when our hair is gray. I remember, on one occasion, her praying thus: “Now, Lord, if my children go on in their sins, it will not be from ignorance that they perish, and my soul must bear a swift witness against them at the day of judgment if they lay not hold of Christ.” That thought of a mother’s bearing swift witness against me, pierced my conscience, and stirred my heart.
I am sure that, in my early youth, no teaching ever made such an impression upon my mind as the instruction of my mother; neither can I conceive that, to any child, there can be one who will have such influence over the young heart as the mother who has so tenderly cared for her offspring.
Certainly I have not the powers of speech with which to set forth my valuation of the choice blessing which the Lord bestowed on me in making me the son of one who prayed for me, and prayed with me. How can I ever forget her tearful eye when she warned me to escape from the wrath to come? I thought her lips right eloquent; others might not think so, but they certainly were eloquent to me. How can I ever forget when she bowed her knee, and with her arms about my neck, prayed, “Oh, that my son might live before Thee!” Nor can her frown be effaced from my memory, — that solemn, loving frown, when she rebuked my budding iniquities; and her smiles have never faded from my recollection, — the beaming of her countenance when she rejoiced to see some good thing in me towards the Lord God of Israel.
Excerpts from Charles H. Spurgeon’s
AUTOBIOGRAPHY (Volume 1)
Ephesians 1:11; 2:1-10
Jeremiah 32:17, 32:27
Romans 8:28-30; 9:23
1 Timothy 2:15
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