May 11, 2020
Yesterday most everyone honored their moms in one way or another. For those of us whose mothers have gone on to be with the Lord, we honored them with our memories and thankfulness. In these unusual times, and even if you couldn’t speak face to face with your mom, having the technology to even if we can’t be together, is a wonderful thing. No matter how you honor your mother it is important to personally express your love and your gratefulness to your mom for her sacrificial in taking care of you and nurturing you into adulthood. And you can’t wait until Mother’s Day, but as often as you can.
Each year on Mother’s Day, God reminds me of his special care for Katie and I in granting us the desire of our heart, children of our own. I can remember vividly how Katie and I asked God for children, and just as vividly the frustration and pain that came without the answer to our prayers that we desired. For many years Mother’s Day was particularly difficult for Katie, and over the years it became almost unbearable for her to sit in the Mother’s Day service at church and watch and listen to the honor, which was given to all of the mothers in attendance. But then God opened the doors of blessing to us and gave us a son, and then another. I remember the joy of that first Mother’s Day service we attended with our Jonathan. No more dreading the service and the introduction of all the mothers. My eyes filled with tears that first Mother’s Day after he was born, as I watched Katie stand proudly, finally, to be honored as a mother. Today we were reminded of the memories of how God gave us two sons Jon and Ryan. Today, Katie is proud to be a mom, and I can only say, God is so good.
The Bible teaches us that children bring great blessing to parents. Psalm 127:3-5 says, “Lo, children are an heritage unto the Lord, and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hands of a mighty man, so are the children of his youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them. They shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.” Our teachers here at FCS recognize the tremendous responsibility we have been given each day when parents trust us with their children. The Bible clearly places the responsibility of raising children with the parents, and so when a parent relinquishes that trust to us for a few hours every day, it represents a great responsibility. Psalm 78:5-7 says, “For He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children, that the generation to come might know them even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children that they might set their hope in God...”
As a parents we recognize that with the blessing of children comes great responsibility to love and care for them throughout their life. One of the most beautiful verses in the Bible about this kind of caring is found in Ruth 1:16-17, “But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.” Ruth married into a Hebrew family that had moved into her country. After her husband and his father both died, her mother-in-law decided to return to her hometown, Bethlehem. Naomi, her mother-in-law tried to discourage her from going with her, but Ruth was committed to caring for her. As parents the most important lesson we can learn from the story of Ruth is that true caring is done without any thought of personal gain or the personal cost to them personally. Naomi’s reasoning with Ruth was that she should stay in her own country and find a new husband to take care of her, because to go back to Judah would be difficult and the chances of her finding a new husband in a foreign land were not as good. Ruth’s determination to go with Naomi was about her desire and commitment to take care of Naomi. It had nothing to do with her meeting her own needs and taking care of herself.
One lesson I received from my own mother was through her consistent commitment to others throughout her lifetime, and never with a concern about her own needs and concerns. It is easy to honor someone with those qualities. I can only hope that I will be just a fraction as much of a caring person as she was, because I know it is a quality that comes from the Lord and models the example of Christ. Philippians 2:3-7, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.”
God’s Word promises blessings to us when we forget about ourselves and think of others first. Blessings from God are not always immediate or even tangible, but they are sure, just like the love of a mother for her children.