Although many Hallmark holidays appear to be merely a marketing ploy to guilt people into buying yet another card for a newly invented special occasion, I nonetheless am grateful for the celebration of Mother’s Day. Of course, I’m grateful for the wonderful mother I have and for her incredible commitment to her children. She has embodied the concept of unconditional love over these many years.
And what a special honor it has been for me to be married to Wanda, the mother of our children and an excellent example of what a godly mother should be. In honor of these mothers (my favorites) and of all faithful Christian mothers everywhere, here are some thoughts on Mother’s Day:
With a broken heart, a young widow (and mother of two boys) approached the prophet Elisha. Her husband—one of the sons of the prophets—had died, and now she was facing the harsh reality that her sons would be absconded by the creditor, leaving her entirely destitute in every way. What advice could the prophet give? What resource could he possibly provide for her? Note three aspects of this faithful mother:
Priorities of Her Family
We can infer that this family possessed some godly priorities. They were known for their reverent service to God. After all, the husband was one of the sons of the prophets during a dark spiritual time in Israel’s history. His testimony was even known to the prophet Elisha. In spite of the culture, their family served the Lord.
This woman displayed a right spirit toward God. Instead of blaming Him or becoming bitter in her heart, she sought the wisdom of God’s Word through God’s prophet. Hard times are not a time to run from God; they are a time to run to God.
A third priority evident in this story is that this woman was raising sons for God. Unthinkable as it was for her to relinquish her children to the creditor. Those sons were hers, and she was going to rear them for God! May today’s mothers possess that same priority and passion in raising children to serve the Lord!
Problems She Faced
When it rains, it pours! This woman faced some overwhelming difficulties that forced her to look beyond whatever meager resources she possessed. For instance, she was confronted with an untimely death. Her husband could not have been an old man considering the youth of these sons. His death was almost certainly unexpected and that much more shocking because of his age.
Without the benefit of social security or life insurance, this woman was faced with an unpayable debt. The creditor was within his legal rights to conscript the sons to a life of exacting labor until the debt was paid. Financial pressures can weigh mountainously upon us, and this woman felt the weight in all of its crushing reality. Given the details of her situation, it seemed that she was experiencing an unbearable dilemma. With no prospect for personal support, she was now being kicked when she was down by the additional prospect of losing her boys.
Practice of Her Faith
Adverse circumstances tend to reveal fear or faith in our hearts, and sometimes both. It is only as we look to God and the instruction of His Word; and believe and act on it that we can see resolution, in God’s unique timetable, to our problems.
Elisha instructed this woman to act upon a message that proved to be a challenge to her reasoning. Faith choices are not always logical choices by the standard of human reasoning. Borrowing vessels for the purpose of emptying one vessel of oil into many others seemed to be a preposterous suggestion! Ultimately, though, we must be mindful that faith is a matter of choice.
Faith is not primarily a feeling or even an attitude; it is rather a belief that moves us to action. Our faith choices as parents are so vitally important because we have children to be redeemed. The sons of this dear woman were the beneficiaries of her faith in that they were (1) saved from the creditor, and (2) instructed by the process.
May our active, vibrant faith deepen our relationship with our great God, and may it provide a clear beacon that our children may follow.