As I was praying this morning for myself, my family and my country, God brought an image to mind. It was me in broken pieces and he was putting me back together in a mosaic form. The grout that would hold me together would be his own spirit living within me. I’m a broken individual but I am made whole through Christ. He doesn’t do away with me and discard me because I am broken. No, he takes those broken pieces and he forms a new creation held together by Him. And the grout, which is his spirit, shines through and around the broken pieces as a testimony of what was and now is.
But as I began painting this image and applying flesh color to each mosaic tile my color varied in saturation. Some tiles were very dark and others very light. Then the Lord revealed to me this is a picture of my people. Each tile represents individuals of various size and color and they are all untied by one spirit and that is the Holy Spirit. Each tile has its place and together they make a new creation a beautiful creation that is the bride of Christ. And just as the body is not complete and all pieces apart, God is not done brining others to him through salvation.
Where we have so much division in a world with the color of our skin the lord looks at us as pieces to a beautiful whole. Each individual an original piece, a masterpiece within itself, but intended to be apart of an even greater masterpiece held together by Him and his spirit shining through.
“Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5:16-19
Ok I’m gonna rock the boat. I don’t personally care to be the boat rocker but I would hate to think of the consequences of staying quiet.
“Make sure no one controls you. They will try to control you by using false reasoning that has no meaning. Their ideas depend on human teachings. They also depend on the basic spiritual powers of this world. They don’t depend on Christ.” Colossians 2:8 NIRV
has been on my mind. I have picked through this verse. I have looked over definitions of words and have considered its context. And it’s application for today. The words that came to mind was Freedom of Thought. And how free are we to think the way we want. Or how controlled are we to think a certain way?
I keep thinking about the world around me and all the avenues in which thought and ideology is formed. Our basic ideology and philosophy in life begins in childhood. What is important to our parents, was made important to us. The way our parents behaved and lived set the foundational principles for us.
But then I began to think, what about outside forces that encourage a certain way of thought. Public school alone accounts for 18,720 hrs from kindergarten to 12th grade of instructional thought pattern determined by a chosen curriculum. The curriculum is not chosen by you but has the stamp of governmental authority on it. During that 7-8hrs a day your child is expected to follow a certain societal norms or they are deemed troublesome in some sort of fashion. Even the best teachers are hamstrung by bureaucracy.
Now, we also live in a culture that determines that the amount of extracurricular activities that a child is apart of will increase their chances of success. If they don’t have those opportunities they are somehow being neglected or robbed of a better life. The time that the children are in these activities takes time away from the family dynamics.
Now let’s take a look at screen time. We are inundated with screens wherever we turn. We hardly can live without them. They are our primary communication sources. They can be used for wonderful things like spreading the gospel (writing encouraging blog posts etc.) but they also can be destructive. Have you paid attention to your child’s cartoons lately? Have you noticed any certain ideologies they push as facts based upon a human understanding? If we are not careful, what looks like a harmless cartoon could be the introduction to a societal mindset apart from God. That idea is introduced and followed up in school through a picked out curriculum and then solidified in higher education.
Then we look at the typical American Christian family and we can see that most attend worship once a week. Little bible study is done at home by parents or children. A single day of worship ensures the check off of a belief in Jesus. His name is mentioned here and there but He has no real effect on the family life.
So now, what does this have to do with freedom of thought? Have you noticed there is an intolerance for thought patterns that do not fit societal norms? Have you noticed that if you don’t agree with a certain agenda you are labeled biased, ignorant or “the problem”. You are even considered “conspiracy theorist” If you suggest that those in power may have a hidden agenda. These thoughts perpetuate the false idea that humans are inherently “good” which from scripture we can plainly see that humans are inherently evil until we are made righteous through Christ.
The fact is those who break from the norm to live a life based on scriptural beliefs are a problem. It is a problem because they are not deceived by a spiritual enemy who easily deceives men and women apart from Christ. We are a problem to a society where humans are the authority of knowledge not a God who knows and sees all. We are a light in a dark room and our life shines on the evil that is masquerading as righteousness, good will, and wisdom.
So my question to you is, who is teaching the next generation? As a parent have your forfeited your rights to others to tell your children how and what they should think? Are you and your children falling for deceptive philosophies of this world? Would you be able to tell the difference between “your truth, to follow your heart” or THE TUTH.
It’s time to wake up.
“You received Christ Jesus as Lord. So keep on living your lives in him. Have your roots in him. Build yourselves up in him. Grow strong in what you believe, just as you were taught. Be more thankful than ever before. Make sure no one controls you. They will try to control you by using false reasoning that has no meaning. Their ideas depend on human teachings. They also depend on the basic spiritual powers of this world. They don’t depend on Christ.” Colossians 2:6-8 NIRV
“Here is what the LORD who rules over all is about to do. The Lord will take away from Jerusalem and Judah supplies and help alike. He will take away all the supplies of food and water. He’ll take away heroes and soldiers. He’ll take away judges and prophets. He’ll take away fortune tellers and elders. He’ll take away captains of groups of 50 men. He’ll take away government leaders. He’ll take away advisers, skilled workers and those who are clever at doing evil magic. The LORD will make mere youths their leaders. Children will rule over them. People will treat one another badly. They will fight against one another. They will fight against their neighbors. Young people will attack old people. Ordinary people will attack those who are more important. A man will grab one of his brothers in his father’s house. He will say, “You have a coat. So you be our leader. Take charge of all these broken-down buildings!” But at that time the brother will cry out, “I can’t help you. I don’t have any food or clothing in my house. Don’t make me the leader of these people.” Jerusalem is about to fall. And so is Judah. They say and do things against the LORD. They dare to disobey him to his very face. The look on their faces is a witness against them. They show off their sin, just as the people of Sodom did. They don’t even try to hide it. How terrible it will be for them! They have brought trouble on themselves. Tell those who do what is right that things will go well with them. They will enjoy the results of the good things they’ve done. But how terrible it will be for those who do what is evil! Trouble is about to fall on them. They will be paid back for the evil things they’ve done. Those who are young treat my people badly. Women rule over them. My people, your leaders have taken you down the wrong path. They have turned you away from the right path.” Isaiah 3:1-12 NIRV
After Jesus prayed, the disciples asked, “how do we pray?” Jesus gave them an example to use:
“So He said to them, “When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.”” Luke 11:2-4
When looking at this example you can see there are 5 basic parts to the prayer:
1. The adoration of God: who he is and what he has done
2. Our needs
3. Confession of our sins, shortcomings and weaknesses
4. Our prayer for others
5. Direction and protection
When we pray within this pattern that the Lord has laid out for us, we can begin to gear our mind toward his. We must first place our thoughts on who God is and what he has done and praise him for it. We then can come to him with our needs and he will supply them. Next, we confess where we have sinned and ask for forgiveness. We take that grace and we pray for others especially those who have hurt us. Our hearts and minds begin to become clearer so that we can ask for direction and protection and be able to hear his response.
Prayer is our communication with Holy God. It is a critical and vital aspect of our life as much the air we breathe. Prayer is not difficult but the enemy can cause discouragement and confusion. He can make us think we need fancy words and long drawn out monologues. But in truth, God is looking at the heart of the person praying. He knows everything before our lips speak it and even things that our lips do not even know what to speak. He gives us this pattern to help our minds and hearts align with his. He shows us the necessary communication to commune with him.
The lord tells us ASK, SEEK, KNOCK. Ask and it will be given. Seek, and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened. This is done in prayer. Prayer is the opportunity for us to align our desires with Him and for Him to give what he has already set apart for us.
Freedom means salvation in Christ. It means that I am no longer bound to this dying world but free to serve and love God. Freedom is peace in my heart. I can live life and forgive those who hurt me because I have been forgiven. Freedom is knowing my worth in the sight of God. When I am persecuted and hated, it does not diminish who I am in the sight of God. Freedom means a fulfilled life. I don’t have to look for validation from others or perform a certain way to be successful. God is in charge of my success.
Freedom means that I’m no longer a slave to sin. Christ has already conquered the flesh.
Freedom means that I do not have to worry about tomorrow. It means an all knowing God leads me on straight paths. He is never taken by surprise and prepares His children for what lies ahead.
The Lord has placed a burden upon my heart for years about the spiritual state our church body. He has shown me time and time again that we have become weak. The Holy Spirit gifted me with the gift of prophecy to speak to the body of believers about such things. Although, it is easier to speak words that encourage it is difficult to speak words that admonish. My flesh fights to remain comfortable and not to cause wakes but the spirit does not relent. I am not content to remain silent when I have been shown the truth. I pray each person who reads this message tests it. Look in the scripture and allow God to reveal to you the truth.
God’s word has been watered down. We do not teach how to search for truth and we do not teach how to discern from lies. We have given into comfort and we have given into abusing the Lords grace. We have become a relic in Society something of the past that cannot relate with people today. We have enjoyed blessings and we have enjoyed the gift of forgiveness but we have turned from reproof. We sit and listen to messages after messages but then turn around and ignore the words.
Our younger generations leave us because they bear witness to the hypocrisy in our hearts. We check off our lists of bodily attendance but our hearts are far from surrender and worship. We do not speak up for the hurting and the oppressed we turn a blind for fear of the discomfort we might experience. Oh church, we have strayed. We no longer hold up truth and boldly proclaim it and those who do are viewed as eccentric or radical.
Church we have chosen to hide our light. We have chosen to blend into the crowd. What distinguishes us from the unbeliever? What is proof in our lives that we boldly live for Christ? We have given up being beacons of light. We have given up our saltiness. We have traded our voice for silence. We traded our zeal for complacency.
Church we are lukewarm.
Drop to your knees oh Church and ask God to search your heart and reveal the sin living in you and repent. Let him do his cleaning work upon you.
““To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.””
My heart is heavy for this world. If I could, I would open the minds of so many and dump the truths I have learned from Gods word into their minds but I cannot. To be honest, my flesh just desires for everyone to just get along and treat people the way you want to be treated. I would like warm and fuzzy and comfortable. But, this warm and fuzzy life of no conflict does not move forward. The conflict free life does not grow. A life of complacency or apathy does not breed life it breeds death.
My heart is heavy for my children and my grandchildren. What type of world will they grow up in? What type of persecution will they see? And yes, if they believe in Christ persecution is promised. As we approach the end of times and continue on in the last days they will be hated and reviled. It will be worse than any persecution we have seen to date. This world hates the truth and that is evident by our actions. We try to remove God from every aspect of our lives and then wonder why things are in chaos.
This world doesn’t value human life. The ones we value the least are children. Thousands around the world are kidnapped and trafficked and used for the most devious and evil actions. They are murdered in the womb and it is celebrated. My heart hurts. My heart hurts for those children and my heart hurts for those so devoid of truth to believe that it’s ok to do these things. These things cause me to want to just hide and pray that Jesus would return quickly.
The fact is, my flesh, my protective mothering heart says, “halt having anymore children.” No more, this world is too scary to grow children in this environment. Everything in me wants to say it’s time to quit but it goes in direct conflict with the call God placed on my life, that is, to leave the number of children I have to him. But, my heart hurts and my courage wains. It is only Christ that sustains me.
I pray earnestly for them and for this world. My heart is just broken. Jesus! I can’t quit having children and I can’t quit teaching them about Christ. All I can think about is what He might use them for. My oldest already believes he has been called to be a missionary and I know the others will have their individual callings upon their lives. One day Christ might use them to bring the news of salvation and hope to people who are hopeless. Maybe, they will lead remnants of Christs people in hope and faith. I do not know what the future holds for them or for myself.
But despite all of the pain and feelings of fear that well up I have to rely on truth. The truth is, God is patient and he is waiting on many more souls to turn to him to be saved. The truth is, that this world must go even further into depravity before he returns. The truth is, God sees every tear everything thing that is done in darkness and he will bring justice to the oppressed. The truth is, that his plans have not been thwarted by the evil in this world. The truth is, he has great plans for myself and for my children to spread his word and bring hope to a hurting world. The truth is, he knows all the days that are before each one of us and lovingly guides us through when we surrender to him. The truth is, no matter how awful the storm gets there can be peace within me. The truth is, that the enemy would love for me to quit having children. He would love for me to give into fear and hide away.
But Christ gives me courage to keep going on. He places a restlessness in my heart that keeps drawing me to him and to keep teaching my children his word. A restlessness that causes a stirring in my spirit to speak truth even when it is difficult for others to hear. He puts callings upon me that are more than I can bear within myself but he works in me and through me to accomplish his will.
A day will come where I will have to give an account for how I lived on this earth. All will have to give an account. And when I stand before the throne I pray that the Lord of Lords addresses me as “My faithful servant.” A servant not giving into to fear of today nor stopping because it is uncomfortable or there is too many unknowns.
My heart is overwhelmed, but each day I see him preparing our family for a life separate from this world. I see him creating the contrast from mainstream ways of thinking and sanctifying us. I see where he plans to draw us to a life dependent on him rather than the world. He does this to teach us how to live during times of trouble so that we can stand in the days to come.
Brothers and sisters, I pray that you seek out Gods wisdom for your family. I pray that you seek out truth. I pray that you do not desire comfort in this world and in the worlds ways but choose Christ and begin to be truly set apart from this world. I pray that you have courage to move forward in the hope of Christ not hope in humanity. Christ alone is our only hope.
“Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains. “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you ahead of time. “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather. “Immediately after the distress of those days “ ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” Matthew 24:4-35
Over the last few weeks I have been trying figure out how to respond to all of the pain that the Black community has been feeling and my role.
A few things I’m sure of:
– they don’t need anyone telling them to calm down. In no situation when someone is in pain and is yelling out that telling that person to calm down is ever effective. That’s a sure fire way to stoke the flame.
– they don’t need anyone to say I understand and or try to compare their situation to yours.
– they don’t need anyone telling them this is what you should do. And try to fix it for them.
– hard reactions are from pint up hurt and anger and generally that hurt and anger is from a continual feeling of being unheard and marginalized.
– what is being fought against is not a simple injustice to the Black community it is a mindset toward the black community.
I don’t believe a governmental bandaid can fix this. Because even with laws and oversight it does not mean that the hate in people’s heart will be changed. But it can be a forward step.
This fight is against a generational sin. A sin of prejudice and pride. The only remedy to such a thorn is Christ himself.
If we want real change we need to get in the habit of looking in a mirror. We need to look deep into our hearts and start identifying the sin that fuels this hate and ugliness toward one another.
I am a privileged person but my greatest privilege that I have is that Christ has rescued me. He has given me the privilege of seeing my wrong thinking and replacing them with truth to transform my mind and my heart. He has given me the privilege to speak to others about this amazing restoration. My biggest role I can play in this lifetime is to teach my children to have a right mindset toward all individuals. To celebrate Gods diversity in humans and to love them well. I can explain to them the atrocities of today and condemn this mindset and remind them the Lord values and loves these people and we are to do the same.
So here is a challenge to the most privileged community, that is the community of believers, how as a nation of people holding the truth in our hearts fight for the least of these? How can our actions speak louder than our statuses and and sentiments? How do we become the hands and feet of Jesus to this hurting community? Let us pray for a revival in this country. A revival of hearts willing to lay down our complacency and look into the mirror and allow the Lord to change us. Let us get in the posture of humility, let’s bow our heads to hear the Lord and ask for ears to hear the hurting hearts.
In ground that is hard and compacted a seed cannot grow. There is no room for roots no room to grow. Packed with potential, it lies there dormant.
Oh ground how unforgiving you are! There is no life within you. You produce nothing but weeds, your soil blows away in the wind. You are lifeless and dead. You cannot stand a storm for it whips and tosses you. Torrents of rain washes your foundation away. You are trampled on by beasts.
Cry out to me oh dirt of this earth! Cry out for life!
I will come and I will turn you! I will lay down a new foundation upon you. . I will remove every briar and weed. I will place a covering over your stripped and bare body. I will give you rest. I will plant seeds within you! Within you fruit will be produced.
You will no longer be dry and parched but have a spring of everlasting water. No longer will you be called barren. You will be given a new name a land of milk and honey, a chosen and priceless land.
My chosen land, I bought you while you were still dead, but if you yield to me trust that you are in my hands, let me work in you and through you will be a land of plenty.
“That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.” The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. This is why I speak to them in parables: “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: “ ‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’ But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it. “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.””
For a long time, the word depression came with a lot of negative thoughts. It felt like a taboo word in Christian circles. It brought up feelings of guilt, failure, and shame. I had a hard time even thinking or saying the word out loud and even more difficult time considering it might be my state of mind. I would define depression as disappointment with myself. A state of mind that critically judges my actions based upon preconceived expectations or standards.
It was after my third child was born that I began to slip into this depressive state. We had recently moved from one home to another. My best friend had recently moved away and I had gained a ton of weight from being put on bed rest during my pregnancy. My newborn daughter was a very challenging baby. She needed constant touch from me and would rarely go to her father without screaming and crying. She cried a lot. I mean a whole lot! It was hard. I had a 4 and 2 year old to care for on top of the newborn. My house was still in disarray from the move and every time I looked in the mirror I wanted to cry.
The insurmountable stress of life left me feeling tired and defeated. Most would say why didn’t I take time away? Well, that is exactly where the the depression started. Every time I tried to take time away to care for myself there was this guilt that set in. It was a little voice in the back of my head that yelled, ” you should feel ashamed for being so selfish!” And “your real problem is that you don’t pray enough or study your bible enough.” So I would desperately try to clean or do house work to “earn” that time away but failed because house work never ends with three kids. I then would take that pent up stress and failures and try to to eat them away. I tried to press down all the the negative feelings I had. Then I would look at myself and feel even more ashamed and feel like a failure. I believed at one point that the solution to my problem was contentment. That I just needed to be content in my circumstances. Looking back contentment was not the problem. I loved being a mother but the pressure was hard and even Jesus took time to be alone and I needed to do the same but no…the real problem was the way I viewed myself. It was so poor that I could not give myself a break.
I eventually became accustom to that depressive feeling that familiar inner voice. It was a constant reminder of I’m not enough and I can’t do enough. I prayed and prayed for change. I wanted God to change me because obviously something was wrong with me. I was a deeply flawed individual that needed to be changed completely. I looked to God for him to change the way I acted towards others but those deep dark feelings I had about myself I pushed those way down. I put them in a closet and I slapped a fake smile on. But the fruit of such a practice left a bitterness in my mouth, a sharpness on my tongue and anger in my heart. I was pretty good about distracting myself from the feelings that I had. I masked it well enough so most people probably would not guess that such darkness lies on the inside. I just kept on ever pursing how to change my outward actions without truly acknowledging that inner voice was not a help or a friend.
I got to the point that I just could not deal with the feelings anymore. My dark thoughts led me to want to be absent from life. I didn’t want to commit suicide physically but I wanted to emotionally and mentally. I wanted to numb out and check out from the pain I kept feeling. Silly as it sounds, I literally asked God if I could just check out knowing full well he would say no.
But it was the turning point.I would love to say, “oh I became happy and joyful.” Nope, it was a turning point inward. God was about to carry me through a very dark valley within myself.
I’ve gotten caught up in the throws of Motherhood and the smile that once was on my face has turned into a sullen expression. I love my children and I love being a mother and I know it is what God has called me to do but where is the joyful mother?
Joy is a fruit of the Spirit. It cannot be manufactured through my own sheer will but only produced by the Spirit.
So what hinders me from being a joyful mother? Stress? Unmet expectations? Or is it an idolizing of Motherhood?
An idol…is something that is set above God and worshipped…but I don’t worship motherhood!…but do our actions reflect that? Am I so consumed by my position as a mother that I have no time to rest? Are my children and motherly duties set so high that I have no time to talk to God? Has my work become who I am instead of letting God define who I am? Jesus gave us the example through his life here on earth. If he took time to be alone and to step away then how much more important is it for me to do the same? His work was unending but He had enough time to slow down. He knew he had a limited time of earth to do the work that He was sent to do. But he did not stress and run around totally frustrated that he could not heal everyone so why do I? Is my work greater than the Son of God?
Jesus was a teacher he was a prophet but most importantly He was the Son of God and He never forgot that. He never forgot who He was and He never let his work override who He was. It was the fact that He was the Son of God that made it possible for him to full fill the work God the father had for him.
So why is it that I have let my work that God has called me to do be the defining factor of who I am? No, I’m not just a mother, I am the daughter of Christ. If I allow my work to consume me and define me then a bad day indicates I did not do enough or I was not enough. If I have a good day then maybe I am a cut above. If motherhood defines me then the results of my grown children determine whether I was a good mother or not. If motherhood defines me then when my children leave the house, then who am I now? What do I do then? Or do I try to hold on to my children trying to control their lives because I am there mother and that’s who I am and what I do?
But if I choose to not let motherhood consume me, then despite of the results I will know who I am. If I let God define who I am then I can find joy in today regardless of how the day went. I can move into the next stage of life without feeling a loss of identity. If I let the Lord define me then I can walk in grace and show grace.
Motherhood is a beautiful work the Lord has allowed women to participate in but it was never meant to consume us and rob us of joy. No, it was meant to draw us closer to Christ not to consume our life. This my friends is a hard line not to cross.
If you are feeling less than joyful in the work God has called you into, ask the Lord to reveal what is in the way of that joy.
“He gives children to the woman who doesn’t have any children. He makes her a happy mother in her own home. Praise the LORD.”
“Will women be saved by having children? Only if they keep on believing, loving, and leading a holy life in a proper way.”
1 Timothy 2:15
“Jesus replied, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Love him with all your mind.’ ( Deuteronomy 6:5 ) This is the first and most important commandment. And the second is like it. ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ ( Leviticus 19:18 )”