As I woke this morning in India, I was blessed and a bit overwhelmed to consider that in around 12 hours, many of my family, friends and church families will rise to celebrate Mother’s Day. Today is not a celebration time for all. For some, it is a time full of deep struggle. For some of my dear friends, it is their first Mother’s day without their mom. For others, today remains as a stark reminder of a deep-rooted desire to be a mother and yet they have not been granted the grace to bear children.
I remember my first Mother’s Day without my mom. While my faith has allowed me to be strong in light of her death for several years, I would be disingenuous to say that I am “over it” when it comes to the sense of loss. Yes-I trust in the Lord, and Yes- I know (as well as an one person can know the heart of another person) that she is in the presence of Jesus today, and that her presence there is GOOD and WONDERFUL and a SOURCE OF JOY for her, my Lord,and by faith, for me.
“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His godly ones.” Psalm 116:15
I grieve with my friends who face today with a sense of loss. I understand. I also exhort them to look beyond the loss we are reminded of today…and consider the truth of God’s precious purpose for a mother…by faith.
I am also mindful that I wake up in India with my wife and the mother of my two great sons. I could not be more proud of the men of character they are and I could not be more mindful of the role that a mother’s nurture plays in their character growth. She has invested in their lives and has taken to heart the great privilege and responsibility of discipling her own children and nurturing them in the Lord. She has provided tremendous balance to my leadership style as a father and they are greatly blessed. She is my true P31 woman (Proverbs 31). Beyond that, she has embraced the clarion call of Titus 2 and invests in other moms so that they too will fulfill their calling to invest and disciple their own children.
I also have the privilege this year to be surrounded by a team of volunteers from my church, most of whom, are moms themselves and chose to join me on this incredible journey of strengthening, equipping, and encouraging the Indian church. They won’t wake to breakfast in bed or to sloppy kid kisses or hugs and displays of affection from their children. This will be a source of pain to some degree…but today they continue to express the reality of motherhood… The life of a mom is a life of giving and serving and struggle and joy and pain.
All of these precious saints have simply continued the role they embraced many years ago…to joyfully sacrfice their lives for the good of others and for the fulfillment of the purpose of God, to the glory of God. As I read again Proverbs 31, I know of no better picture of strength, dignity, and grace, than a mom who would leave her own family for a season to minister to the extended family of God…on foreign soil…and a great personal expense. Truly, these women are bearing witness to the heart and hands of Jesus Himself for all to see and experience the gospel. I BELIEVE that their examples will reverberate in the hearts of their children and all who know them for decades to come, to the glory of God.
10An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels.
11The heart of her husband trusts in her, And he will have no lack of gain.
12She does him good and not evil All the days of her life.
13She looks for wool and flax And works with her hands in delight.
14She is like merchant ships; She brings her food from afar.
15She rises also while it is still night And gives food to her household And portions to her maidens.
16She considers a field and buys it; From her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17She girds herself with strength And makes her arms strong.
18She senses that her gain is good; Her lamp does not go out at night.
19She stretches out her hands to the distaff, And her hands grasp the spindle.
20She extends her hand to the poor, And she stretches out her hands to the needy.
21She is not afraid of the snow for her household, For all her household are clothed with scarlet.
22She makes coverings for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23Her husband is known in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land.
24She makes linen garments and sells them, And supplies belts to the tradesmen.
25Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future.
26She opens her mouth in wisdom, And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27She looks well to the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness.
28Her children rise up and bless her; Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:
29“Many daughters have done nobly, But you excel them all.”
30Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
31Give her the product of her hands, And let her works praise her in the gates.
Proverbs 31:10–31 (NASB95)