My mother was born in an age when most folks still had a horse and buggy for transportation. When she was about 2, her parents left her and her older brother on the farm to fend for themselves while they traveled with the baby brother to town for supplies. Her older brother was maybe 4. She shared how they would gather buffalo chips to burn in the fireplace to keep warm. She recalled her mother asking her father to please take all the children with them. That was the beginning of a lifetime of hardship and hard places to be in.
But they survived. My mother survived. She went on to survive many many things in her lifetime. From peritonitis to cancer to miscarriages to tuberculosis and more. She survived abandonment, horrible work conditions and bad marriages.
My mother more than survived. She thrived. While most folks would knuckle under any one of the many tales she had of adversities to live a life of anger, fear and turmoil in return, not my mother. She just got stronger with each thing that came along. She laughed often, forgave a lot and lived free. She worked hard, had fun and helped others. People drew from her strength – from her siblings to her children to her friends.
One time I asked the Lord to have the spirit and strength of my mother. He spoke to my heart. It seems my mother’s strength of character came from adversity. Now everyone wants to have strength, but who wants to develop that strength? Dough gets tougher the more you knead it. Polished rocks come out of a tumbler after days in the machine. Tarnished silver requires cleaning compound and rubbing, rubbing, rubbing. Get the picture?
I know that Mother’s Day is not a huge blessing for everyone. Some of you are living under the rejection of a beloved child. Some of you have been dumped by a husband, forgotten about by a parent and you’ve been through the mill. The heartache of life in general, has left you dreading the day, wanting to forget all about it. The Hallmark version of this holiday just doesn’t fit you and you may wonder how to ignore it altogether.
Others of you want to have that inner strength, but going through hard things just isn’t what anybody asks for. Yet, God in His incredible, redemptive mercy can make every single hard time, every mountain, every valley, every heartache, every mistake you’ve made or others made against you, and the hurt and pain work together for YOUR good.
Oh, beloved, it’s time to drop the baggage of poor parenting, poor raising and poor outcomes at the door of worship and enter in to the Lord’s presence. This day can be a magnificent day to give Him every burden you ever carried, to lift every load that someone put on you, to decrease your pain and increase your joy. He says to you this morning that He loves you, He loves you, He loves you. And while you may not understand why you are going through hard things, you can trust Him to get you through, make you stronger in the process and increase your faith in Him. Because He loves you, He will celebrate with you, even if no one else does. He not only hears your cries for mercy and answered prayers, He is the reliever, redeemer and restorer of your life!
God is real and He’s speaking to your heart, no matter how you were raised, how you’ve been treated or what you’ve done wrong. Let Him love you and let Him take your life and let it be consecrated to Him. For He’s with you forever and that’s all that really matters, as He makes your life a shining example of His love, mercy and strength!
Isaiah 54:5 For your Creator will be your husband; the LORD of Heaven's Armies is His name! He is your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, the God of all the earth.
Psalm 119:107 I have suffered much, O Lord; restore my life again as you promised.
Colossians 3:10 Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like Him.
Psalm 59: 17 O my Strength, to you I sing praises, for you, O God, are my refuge, the God who shows me unfailing love.
Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.