December 14, 2011
"And Mary said, 'Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.' And the angel departed from her." Luke 1:38 NASB
I recently asked the Lord to take me to the next place, to the next level in our relationship. I love the Lord but I want to love Him more. I trust God but I want to know Him by another name--ELOHIM (the Hebrew name for God), ADONAI (my Lord), EL-SHADDAI (God Almighty).
I knew my request would come with discomfort, challenge and discipline, as drawing nearer to God will always require further surrender myself and my ways. The past two weeks have been difficult. Two nights ago I cried myself to sleep. The Lord has burdened my heart for many things--scary things. My response? "But Lord, what about my kids?" It goes without saying that I would never intentionally place my children in the path of danger. However, as I consider reaching out to those bound by the enemy, my mommy-mind runs amuck with the potential harm that could come my family's way.
A few years ago I struggled to transition into the role of stay-at-home mom. It wasn't that I didn't want to be with my children, it was that staying at home meant that I had to surrender my idea of sustaining a career. Six years into the SAHM journey, I love serving as the primary caregiver and teacher of these precious ones. I love my role almost to a fault. I love my children. I want to be with them, provide for them, protect them at all costs. In my quest to go deeper with the Lord He has revealed to me that I have placed my children in a most precarious place: above my love and concern for Him.
Matthew 10:37 reads, "If you love your son or daughter more than Me, you are not worthy of being mine."
Its okay that I love my children. As parents God calls us to teach and to train our children, and to serve as a vessel through which He can pour His love for them. But God loves my children more than I ever could. His plans for my children exceed anything I can think to ask or imagine. Why, then, do I think God would call me to serve in a manner which would cause my children to fall out of the protection of His will for them? Why do I think that His will for me includes anything less than His best for my children?
In light of Christmas, I couldn't help but ponder the example of Mary, the mother of Jesus.
God sent the angel Gabriel to tell Mary that she would conceive and give birth to Jesus, the Son of God.
Consider Mary's plight. Wasn't she familiar with Scripture? God's Word is so deep and so wide that none can fully comprehend its meaning. However, I must believe that because of the prophets Mary knew enough of the Holy Writ to have an inkling as to what her--and her child's--future might hold if she followed in obedience.
Didn't Mary know the rejection and utter disdain that her Son would face? Didn't Mary know that her Son would endure a horrid death upon a cross? Didn't Mary know?
Mary could have said, "But God, if I fulfill the call you've placed on my life, my child (whose child?) will suffer. I think instead I'll spare Him the suffering by refusing to follow your lead."
But that's not how Mary responded. Mary recognized her place of humility before God. She surrendered to the fact that she could not change God's will for His Son. Mary did not challenge God's authority or question His plan or petition Him for another way. She simply responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true."
Oh, that I may respond to God's call with similar words. "Behold your bondslave; may it be done to me according to your word."
On account of Mary's obedience, God delivered Salvation to the world. Who knows what God may accomplish through our obedience?
I do not know what God has in store for my children (whose children?). I do know God will never call them to suffer as much as He did His own Son--to bear the sins of the world.
earnest prayer for my children is Colossians 1:9-11, which read, "We
have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about
you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give
you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will
always honor and please the Lord, and your
lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will
grow as you learn to know God better and better.
We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power
so you will have all the endurance and patience you need."
I beleive the most abundant life we'll ever live is the life God ordained for us. The one sure way for my children to fulfill God's call on
their lives is to watch their mama walk in obedience to fulfill God's call on her own life.
Father, I must ask forgiveness for my lack of trust in You. Thank you for revealing an area of my heart which offends you. Help me to trust you with your children. Help me to love you so much that I am willing to follow you wherever you go. In Jesus name, Amen.