Isaiah 40:11. “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.”
I bless the Lord, O my soul…thank you for the gift of children, hence the gift of motherhood. It is an immense calling and privilege that has truly changed me. The memories of my first born daughter’s birth is burnt into my memory with joys and emotions indescribable. Every birth to follow has it’s own unique flavor of joy and precious memories. With the birth of my first baby, Savannah, I thought pregnancy and delivery were so amazing. After that came the newborn stage of nursing and snuggling and admiring God’s creation. Then the developing baby and toddler…I kept thinking this can’t get any better! I wasn’t sure which stage was my favorite. The terrible two’s didn’t really exist I found…and three?! Just as sweet if not more so! Well, I have reached the 17 year old stage at this point and I have come to realize that every stage of raising a child is an exquisite delight. I love motherhood.
You may have read the previous paragraph and thought to yourself “that all sounds nice and rosey and is easy for you to say with your first nine children, but what about now, since having Charlie!?”Recently I was asked if I had any resentment towards Charlie for the difficulties that have come into our life since his birth. The question surprised me a bit. My immediate and heartfelt response was, “absolutely NOT, no none!” As I pondered the question, I began to ask God to search me and know me to make CERTAIN there weren’t any thoughts of resentment towards Charlie deep within me. There is no resentment, but God, in His awesome kindness took me to a deeper place of understanding his mercy towards me and my family that has come through Charlie. A confirmation that not only do I NOT resent this little boy, but I am SO incredibly grateful for him!
Yes, this journey has been like no other for our family. Hard? Yes! But how do we view the “hard” things about motherhood?! A lot of our attitude towards motherhood has to do with our understanding of suffering and pain. Do we embrace the pain and difficulties of childbearing, motherhood, and life? Or do we turn away, hide our face, or even run the other direction? Have you ever met the laboring woman who declares that she is “done” (even though the baby hasn’t arrived yet!), she stands up in the middle of labor and informs the team that she is leaving, she can’t do this, won’t do this, and will be leaving this party. It’s funny isn’t it? Well, how often do we act the same way in our own lives, in our mothering, in our suffering? Dear mothers, we miss out on SO much when we quit, when we refuse the difficulties. When we view our suffering as a curse instead of a blessing.
1 Peter 1:3-9 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Charlie is a gift, a blessing, and a reward- no doubt! He is a little more physically complicated and brings new things to our home, perhaps a new lifestyle. Will I pack my bags and run? NO! I wouldn’t miss the opportunities that we have had over the last 8 1/2 months to stretch, grow, and witness God’s faithfulness so intimately. Nor would I want to miss out on what lies ahead. I want to encourage you with the encouragement that the Holy Spirit gave to me the day before we took Charlie to the hospital…”Arms wide open little daughter, run into me as I take you through the difficulties, trust me as you do the hard thing, arms wide open! I know you feel like locking the doors and closing the windows to the difficulties, but because of my immense love for you I want to provide you an opportunity for bigger and better things in your life. Open your arms…wide- and watch me as I work in ways you never knew possible. I love adore you, I sing over you…now buckle your seatbelt of faith (or pick up the shield) and let’s GO!!”
Don’t settle for the ho hum life that avoids hard things at all cost, lay it down, run for the prize- present yourself as a living sacrifice holy and pleasing to God! THIS is worship!
Another golden nugget from Spurgeon:
“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”
Christian! If thou art in a night of trial, think of the morrow; cheer up thy heart with the thought of the coming of thy Lord. Be patient, for “Lo! He comes with clouds descending.”
Be patient! The Husbandman waits until he reaps his harvest. Be patient; for you know who has said, “Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give to every man according as his work shall be.” If you are never so wretched now, remember “A few more rolling suns, at most, Will land thee on fair Canaan’s coast.”
Thy head may be crowned with thorny troubles now, but it shall wear a starry crown ere long; thy hand may be filled with cares–it shall sweep the strings of the harp of heaven soon. Thy garments may be soiled with dust now; they shall be white by-and-by. Wait a little longer. Ah! how despicable our troubles and trials will seem when we look back upon them! Looking at them here in the prospect, they seem immense; but when we get to heaven we shall then “With transporting joys recount, The labours of our feet.”
Our trials will then seem light and momentary afflictions. Let us go on boldly; if the night be never so dark, the morning cometh, which is more than they can say who are shut up in the darkness of hell. Do you know what it is thus to live on the future–to live on expectation–to antedate heaven? Happy believer, to have so sure, so comforting a hope. It may be all dark now, but it will soon be light; it may be all trial now, but it will soon be all happiness. What matters it though “weeping may endure for a night,” when “joy cometh in the morning?”