Monday, May 5, 2014

The Joy of a Mothers Labor

Friends of Faith:
With Mother’s Day just around the corner it is a great time to think about the wisdom God uses in passing on His kingdom through the lessons of acceptance, patience and perseverance learned in motherhood and childbirth.

From Mary’s first yes in accepting God’s call to be the mother of Jesus, to her peace and joy in his birth, to her sorrow and suffering in seeing him unjustly accused and crucified, and then again to her joy, peace and glory in his resurrection God has given all mother’s (and all humankind) a powerful and encouraging role model.

Mary’s faithful example teaches us patience, trust, courage, and perseverance, in giving God control: in pain, in sorrow AND in joy; in the sacrifice of doing his will at whatever the cost.

“When a woman is in labor, she has pain, because her hour has come. But when her child is born, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy of having brought a human being into the world.” (John 16:21)

God has the power to do all, so that must mean He had a purpose in allowing Jesus to suffer for us and in making Jesus human thru Mary. Likewise, God has a purpose in each of our own sufferings: so that we learn to accept his grace and give him our trust.

The grace of God allows us as wives and mothers (fathers and friends) to accept and bear both pain and sorrow in the sacrifices we make while serving each other. The same grace of God that allows us to accept suffering will also allow us to be rewarded in His time (years, nine months, or tomorrow) with the joys of seeing God’s kingdom, through them.

Just as Mary said yes to God in being a mother, so then for the sake of all she bore the pain of her son’s death on a cross so that we might be saved. Think of her agony as she watched him die for our sakes. We have somewhat those same types of experiences and feelings of pain when our children are struggling in school, careers or relationships. But like Mary we must also trust God to lead them (and us) to the right conclusions.

And we are constantly being asked to give up and sacrifice time, talents and treasures to help others, to die to our selfish desires – that is what it means to be Christian, a follower of Christ, to act as Jesus did, to give up our life, our desires and our wants for the sake of others.

As a spouse we are asked to become a vehicle to help “deliver” our spouse to heaven – if we accept our role in God’s design we will be asked to make sacrifices for the sake of the other, and we will be rewarded with the joy of seeing Christ thru them.

And just as the birth of a child (the end result of God’s grace) create joy, so too does the end result of other situations given over to God: a healing after an illness; a “thank you” after an act of service; or a conversion of heart/Spirit after soul searching or sin. Each act of kindness done with a heart of giving, in a Spirit of humility, can create joy – both for the person that sacrifices or gives up, and for the person that suffers or for the one who has been healed.

Like a woman who bears the pain of pregnancy and childbirth we will ultimately be rewarded with new birth, the joy of being a child of God in heaven.

Heavenly Father, We are your children, given by you to help others find joy in you. Help us to have patience in bearing the pain created by our own sins. Help us to be willing to sacrifice and bear pain for the sake of others. And may we be blessed by the encouragement of finding your joy in our lives. Thank you for the gift of all mothers and for Mary’s powerful example to each of us. Amen.

I think God’s most visible example of His love is the role and the outcome of a mother’s labor of love – the joy of a child—new life created and found through self-sacrifice and pain.

May all who labor find the joy of new birth in Jesus Christ,


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