Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.
Proverbs 22:6 NLT
I know that I am not the only mother who worries daily about her children. Their future keeps me up at night. Sometimes the worry will just cripple me mid-day without warning while I clean up their rooms. This world is powerfully persuasive and can be dangerous. How can we have faith that our children will be safe? How can we have confidence that we are raising them right?
Hannah wanted a child so badly that she promised to dedicate Samuel’s whole life to the Lord. The Bible tells us that Eli, the priest’s sons stole the best parts of the sacrifices from the people of Jerusalem and had intimate date nights within the tabernacle. Hannah made a promise to God and kept it, even though she was most likely aware of Eli’s despicable sons. She could have gone back on her word in the name of keeping her son safe from the world. She was well-off and her home life was obviously more comfortable than in a tent in a hot desert climate. Upon reading about Hannah’s second meeting with Eli, I couldn’t help but read her words in a mama bear tone.
And she said, Oh my Lord, as thy soul “liveth, my Lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the Lord . For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him”
1 Samuel 1:26-27 KJV
Was their hidden subtext in the phrase that would hint, “I am trusting the Lord with my boy and I am trusting you, and I know what your sons are doing.” Hannah had faith in the Lord.
Mary was a mom. Did she have the same anxieties we do? Did she leave Jesus in Jerusalem for two days because of mom brain? The King James version quotes Mary as saying “Your father and I sought thee sorrowing.” Mary had faith, but one forboding incident was enough to make her erupt with worry. Did she know where Jesus was going when it was time for the devil to tempt him in the desert? “Wait…you are going where? With who? No way am I letting you go through that!” Did she scold him afterward. “Good grief! Have you eaten anything?” Did she ever show disapproval of who he was hanging out with? Smelly fishermen? Tax collectors?! A prostitute?! The Bible says she pondered all in her heart, but what about when he was dying on the cross. Had it been pondered before? When she was watching her beloved son die, what bravery that must have taken. There wasn’t anything she could do. After going through pregnancy, going through childbirth, after raising him for 30 years…there was nothing she could do. When Jesus’ birth was foretold, the angel Gabriel told Mary “The Lord is with you…: and that her future son’s “kingdom will never end.”
I acted in a passion play as Mary, the mother of Jesus. I was escorted by Mary Magdalene and John. I tripped over to the cross and in true method acting form, I imagined my first child. The child that I never got to hold. The child that died at 8 weeks. I remembered the pain of not having any power over my baby returning to the kingdom of heaven, but the Scripture says that “Mary was standing at the cross.” When Jesus said that she was John’s mother now. When that word mother was the last time she heard it from his lips, was she no longer standing? Did she falter? Did she weep? Was she meditating on the words the angel spoke to her? Mary was a mom of faith.
I have gladiolus in my garden. Even though they only last for two weeks in the spring, I look forward to the tall, vibrant stalks to illuminate my back window. They attract hummingbirds and it is a treat to catch their majestic flight while I sip my morning coffee. (Picture above) Many times the gladiolus bloom for one day, but the weight of the flower makes the thin stems collapse. All that work and toil. Digging, pulling, watering and for what? A fleeting moment of picturesque scenery gone before the first day of April. Mark 4:26 says “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how.” We planted the seed, our children grow and grow and sometimes we cannot fathom the process of how they grow up so fast. Just like enjoying my 2-3 days of proud, standing gladiolus, it is another reminder to enjoy the present and not to let the future cause you anxiety. We don’t know what is in store for our children, much like I’m not sure if some of my annual garden flowers have enough resources to return year after year. Our faith is built on the same principle. We can’t fathom the homes that are waiting for us in heaven. We don’t know the entirety of God’s plan. There are still so many unanswered questions in spite of our faith. We just hope and anticipate a beautiful eternity where we can enjoy the view, reunite with loved ones and give glory to God.
But the love of the Lord remains forever with those who fear him. His salvation extends to the children’s children
Psalms 103:17 NLT
This is what the Lord says: “Do not act like the other nations, who try to read their future in the stars. Do not be afraid…
Jeremiah 10:2 NLT
And they will never die again. In this respect they will be like angels. They are children of God and children of the resurrection.
Luke 20:36 NLT