Mother, you are important just the way you are.
I had the misfortune of seeing a movie the other day that delt with a mom who suddenly decided to go after a career instead of raising her child. There’s nothing wrong with a mom going after a career, that part wasn’t the problem. The problem was that she chose to do this because her sister told her that a woman who was satisfied with being nothing more than a mother was underachieving. In that moment my mind went, ‘I see now. That’s where it began.’ The falling apart of the country’s fabric I mean. Women are now told that it’s no longer okay to be happy just being a mommy, if that’s your dream as a little girl you’ll get shot down as not stretching yourself enough. This is false. We need our moms in this and every country. We need them as moms. Having a job too is fine, but if all you’ve ever been and all you’ve ever wanted to be was a mom there is nothing wrong with that; in fact, you’ve chosen one of the hardest, most underappreciated, and totally unpaid positions out there. But you chose it because you are special. You didn’t just want a baby to play with and then you’re done and want your own life, you wanted to be someone’s mentor, caretaker, teacher, and friend. You chose a job where someone else’s life is always put before yours. A job where you are solely responsible for guiding and maintaining another human being. You have chosen to be more than just another money seeking career woman. You have chosen to be someone who gains nothing but the love of a child and never gets payment nor awards. Except perhaps a paper cut out of a ribbon with a misspelled ‘#1 mom’ written on it, and if you are like my mom then that paper cut out ribbon is more precious to you than any golden trophy could be. You are amazing mothers, just the way you are! Don’t feel like you are less because you chose a job that leaves you without a pension. Don’t feel small because you wear old holy soles instead of seven inch high heels. Don’t forget that God designed women to be mothers. Not all choose that path and some God plans to be His workers in a different direction then motherhood and that’s fine. But we must never look down on those who have been chosen to fulfill the role of mommy. Being a mother to your child makes God smile, because you are following His plan. The world needs strong, praying mothers. Don’t doubt the importance of your role! We need you.
Happy Mother’s day! 😊
“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.”
“O Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I can’t speak for you! I’m too young!” The Lord replied, “Don’t say, ‘I’m too young,’ for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and will protect you. I, the Lord, have spoken!”
Jeremiah 1:5-8 NLT
Jeremiah is such a perfect example of someone threshing weat in the wine press, except he was in the wine press emotionally. He wasn’t depressed or anything, but he looked around and saw all these great men of God who happened to be older, probably much older, than himself and he did what we all do when we look around instead of looking up- he saw his inadequate state. God says to do something and we look at the other people doing the same thing or similar things, and we realize that compared to them we don’t have the same level of: schooling, training, strength, courage, popularity, Talent, and so on. But then God reminds us: ” you must go where I send you and do as I tell you, and do not be afraid of them for I will protect you.”
It isn’t about what we think we can do or what we feel we are qualified for. It’s about what God knows we can do and what He qualifies us for through His power. No matter our schooling or our skill we are all inadequate for the task before us unless we have God helping us. Oh sure we might succeed on our own, but it will always be more difficult or lead to less of a great conclusion then it would have been if we had just let God use us the way that He planned to. We may all be in the wine press emotionally on some level for something, but God has a plan for all of us, one that is unique and individual to each person. When God calls you out of the wine press follow His voice. And don’t be afraid of them, for God will protect you.
God sees you when you are threshing wheat in the wine press.
Sometimes the enemy feels too strong, so we find ourselves serving God privately and quietly and not standing up and showing people that we love him. Sometimes we’re even too afraid to tell people that we are Christians. That makes God very sad, but just because He’s sad doesn’t mean that He’s not taking care of us in the wine press. When I think of Gideon I think of someone I understand. He had been attacked, he had seen his friends slaughtered, and he was afraid. So he started doing his work away from watching eyes. I don’t blame him. Yet despite his fear and hiding God planned to use him for a great victory. It wasn’t easy either. There were times I bet he thought he had imagined the angel who had come to him. But in the end he gave his body and will over to God and God used him as He said He would.
Don’t feel like God is overlooking you because you are in the wine press, He still sees you and He still plans to use you. Even if you are failing now, even if you failed Him this very second, it doesn’t change what He can and will do through you. It may be hard, but don’t fight Him. If God has you by the waist and is pulling you out of the wine press, the only one you’ll hurt by clinging to the walls is yourself. That’s easy to say, but I know I’ve wrapped my arms around the mill stone a few times recently, the same as everyone else. But God will give you another chance. He knows what greatness you can achieve when you surrender to Him.
Judges Chpt 6-8 tells Gideon’s story for those who want to read it.
‘Today is my day to sorrow’, thought the tiny flower growing beside a rock. ‘Last night a great trouble came over me as a man, or something more than a man, sat by my side and wept. His tears were so great that when they splashed upon me I felt sick and my roots were weakened. I tried to reach out to the man, but I am just a flower and cannot draw attention to myself like a bird can with her song. He cried and screamed and begged and pleaded, but no peace came to this man. I hoped that He would look at me and I could make Him smile. He left and then returned, even sadder when He came back. All I could do was sit with Him. Then I sensed a resolve in His being and He went to stand once more. He stumbled and His hands landed near me. I tried to be radiant to bring Him comfort, finally He saw me, He smiled very gently, then He rose to His feet. “Thank you my radiant flower.” He said, then He left.
I feel that something great and tragic happened that night. Today I feel as though a friend is calling out for mercy. Today I feel sad. But being a flower, I know that tomorrow will bring new joy and hope.’
Don’t miss it
I remember hearing a Christian lady arguing with a scholar. She had asked a simple question but the scholar -not of Christian theology- had seen that she was a Christian and had decided to take her to the mat because of it. He used big words in several different languages and quoted the Bible back to her claiming his vast knowledge was proof that he could say that Jesus wasn’t God. When she tried to explain how he had misrepresented the scriptures he had chosen to quote, and what they truly meant within the context they are in, he had fought back by listing his degrees from some of the big name brand schools and claimed her lack of degree showed how she couldn’t understand scripture even of it were true. ( His expression. I fully know scripture is true). Finally she was so tired of him she simply shook her head and said, “You’ve missed the whole point.”
In this guys vast learning and studying he had claimed himself equal to Christ, he thought his knowledge of God placed him next to God on equal level with Jesus, because Jesus had come simply to prophesy about a new way to God, but wasn’t actually God Himself. He had missed the whole point. (We won’t go into how much of what he said was wrong and which chapters of the Bible prove how wrong this ‘learned man’ was, that would take too long.)
We can’t be Jesus. Jesus wasn’t a prophet or a scholar. If He had been than we would be in trouble because His death wouldn’t have meant a thing. We cannot sit equal to Jesus at God’s side. He was and is and always will be God’s only son. He is God. Jesus made it so we don’t need a priest, or a degree or a scholar to understand Him and be close to Him. The new covenant was an open relationship with God, not as little Christs oursleves, but as servants who have been washed in the blood of the Lamb. Before Jesus died, we couldn’t talk to God ourselves, we couldn’t ask for our own sins to be forgiven, and we always had to bring a sacrifice- now we can talk to God about everything, we don’t need a priest to ask for our sins to be forgiven, we can ask for it ourselves, and now we have a communion with the last sacrifice ever needed and through Him we are no longer slaves but friends. Study your Bible and learn as much about God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit as humanly possible, but don’t feel your knowledge of God replaces a relationship with God. Don’t miss the point of the cross.
Jesus is still our hope, our joy, our comforter and friend. Yes He has rules to follow, but they aren’t rules intended to harm us, they are rules set up to help us and protect us. Like all good Fathers, our Father in Heaven gave us a list of rules that keep us out of trouble, those rules don’t mean He doesn’t love us- they prove that He does love us. Jesus reconfirmed those rules when He was ministering so we would know that they were still important. But moving away from that. The laws of God are always getting contorted so we end up saying that God has no rules because His rules make Him sound less loving. That’s not true. Parents who don’t decipline their children may look loving to the child getting away with everything, but from the outside looking in, all people see are parents who don’t care enough about their child to correct him or her. When I was little I was taught to always say ‘please,’ ‘thank you,’ ‘I’m sorry,’ ‘ excuse me’; you know, the basics, yet people are often saying how polite I am just because I use common courtesies that all people should know and use, because my parents cared enough to teach them to me. Having this General basis of knowing polite conversation has helped me a lot in my buisness life. God’s rules are there to help us in all aspects of life. Don’t murder, don’t steal, don’t have affairs, treat others as yourself, one man should be married to one woman, don’t lie, don’t go into buisness with people who don’t share your faith, go the extra mile. So on, and so on. All these rules are there to keep us safe. And God’s plan for our lives is not an agenda that He is forcing on us, it’s simply a plan for us to become the best people we can be. He still loves us. He is still our hope and our joy. His rules that keep us safe don’t change how much He adores us, they are proof that He loves us. And He always will.
In the end of Voyage of the Dawn Treader, on the shores of Aslan’s country, the children find someone they don’t expect, a lamb. The gates to the country of the great lion are watched by a small, delicate animal of sacrifice.
But between them and the foot of the sky there was something so white on the green grass that even with their eagles eye they could hardly look at it. They came on and saw that it was a lamb. – The Voyage of the Dawn Treader chpt. 16 pg. 267/268
“There is a way into my country from all the worlds,” said the lamb; but as he spoke his snowy white flushed into Tawny gold and his size changed and he was Aslan himself towering above them and scattering light from his mane. Chpt 16. Pg. 269
I cried great tears when I read this. I knew the lamb would be Aslan, but that made it all even sweeter. Lewis never missed an inch, right down to an image almost akin to Revelation with the lamb waiting at the gate.
Of course the lion of the Narnia saga wouldn’t move me to cry so (I would still shed tears, just not such flowing tears) much if he were just another story, but because the author made him a rendition of Jesus I can’t help but long to be near him. Jesus is such a wonder. He’s a mighty lion and a slain lamb. It’s easy to miss the lamb while being caught up by the lion, but he’s just as much a part of our King. Remember, only the lamb is worthy to open the scroll. That terrifying and wonderful scroll. Lions are so big and powerful and lovely; lambs are small and soft and delicate, no one would choose a lamb to be the hero of a great tale, exept someone who knew we needed a pure sacrifice. Nothing is an accident in God’s plan, no one would sacrifice a lion or a warrior, not without great accolades and songs in his honor- but who notices a lamb? (Plus a lion would not be a perfect sacrifice.)
Yet isn’t that the whole mystery. Jesus is both. He’s a great warrior even if we miss that fact, and He’s a gentle lamb.
Don’t forget that Jesus is a warrior. He said He would return with the armies of the Lord, He’s not sitting back thinking swords look dangerous, He is King and Ruler and we owe Him honor. Someday, we will reach Heaven’s shores and lay our crowns at the feet of the lamb who is also a lion.
“Help her to know that the world is not a safe or nice place just because Jesus came, but that we still need His grace.”
Tonight I found a video of my Grandfather and Grandmother praying over right after I was born. They said a lot of great and kind things, yet this stood out to me. It’s so terribly true. So many people come to know Jesus and think that by knowing Him the world will suddenly change into a nicer, better place. Then it doesn’t and they- like the seed that fell on the side of the road- lost their faith as soon as bad times came. We preach that Jesus will make everything better, and He does, but not in the way that most people understand. Like the Jewish people expecting the Messiah to over throw the Roman tyrany, we expect something that our carnal minds see, not what God actually has planned. When Jesus comes into our lives and changes things for the better it doesn’t mean that He changes the world around us, it means He changes us. Sometimes God does something crazy and fixes every problem and cures every illness, but many times He doesn’t. Many times He changes our outlook, our plan, sometimes even our friends circle changes to help us where we are in that season. But the most important thing is that He Himself comes into our lives and His presence makes everything better. Jesus didn’t come to make the world a better place, He came to make us better people and to prepare us for His kingdom.
We still need His grace.
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”
John 17:20-26 NIV
Right before He was arrested and about to be sent to His death, the last thing Jesus did was pray this prayer for us. Not thinking of Himself, right to the final hour, we were who was on His mind.
Lent day 19
Every dead walking
Every can’t take another day
Every prisoner (in the mind or body)
Every never enough
Every striving too hard
Every filthy rags show off
Every. Single. Person
Is loved unconditionally by Jesus.
I know I’m a sinner. I know a fail Him every day. It’s hard to believe that He would keep reaching out and loving inspite of me. If Jesus didn’t love us we couldn’t be better than we are, we couldn’t throw away our sins and failures, we wouldn’t have a chance. It’s because He loves us that we can change. It’s because He loves us that while we were His enemies He died for us. We are all the Centurion at the Cross, holding a spear dripping with His blood in our hands as we realize, “this man must truly have been the son of God.”
We couldn’t repent of our sins and find Jesus if He hadn’t first paid everything for us. We no longer have an excuse to cling to our past, our sins, our filthy rags- Jesus died so that we would have a way out.
He gave us a way out of hell, not a free ticket to both the hell “party” on earth AND the paradise of Heaven. We get one or the other. But praise God that He is paitent and just so that no soul will be lost, because He wants all of us. God is the only one who can be greedy, and He is greedy for our souls, He does not want the devil to have a single person and will give up everything so that the devil can’t have us. If in the end every sould found Jesus except on and that one went to hell, that single soul would be on God’s mind all the time and would break His heart.
He loves us and gives us every opportunity to change and find him. We have no excuse, so let’s throw away the excuses and run into Jesus’s outstretched arms.