Jesus never got to name a ministry, pick out a church building, design a logo, write a book. He never got to pick a sermon series title, make a calendar of goals and vision for the year. He never had a folder of minutes to show for all of His endless meetings. He never had an award-winning blog or a large number of followers on Instagram to stand on.
Instead, His life was 100% about what matters to God…what life is all about: His little children…His people…relationships.
As far as I can see, Jesus walked (yes, mostly walked) through life “living in the moment”, so to speak, and meeting the needs that “popped up” throughout His day. This is something that I need to CONSTANTLY remind myself…first-born problems. His priorities seemed to be 1) His relationship with the/His Father; 2) Answering questions and healing those who begged for His attention constantly (which often led to very dirty/messy/unsanitary circumstances); 3) feeding people and eating and 4) teaching in pretty informal settings, including mostly one-on-one occasions.
Moms/parents: does this to-do list (or lack there-of) sound familiar? We may not have a whole ton of titles and statistics to back us up at the end of our 40-80 years of ministry, but if we look constantly to our Savior (and the redeemer of our EVERY dirty-diaper day) I think that we will see that He faced a lot of the same temptations that we do, and that He provides all the example we need as moms. We see that His (seemingly aimless) lifestyle as a shepherd of a lost, chaotic, sinful people was a lot like our lifestyle. In fact, the more I commit to letting God make me into the very-best mother I can be, I wonder, is wholehearted parenthood the closest representation and experience of Jesus’ roles as shepherd on Earth?
Take heart, mama or daddy! Jesus knows how it feels to have little to no “me time”…to have to fight for quiet time with God, to have to say the same thing over and over and over again to people who don’t seem to listen, to answer endless pleas for “bandaids” and be around sickness constantly, to wash dirty feet, to feed an army, to be derided and hated and persecuted by those He is trying to save, to be asked “why?” endlessly, to lose sleep from sorrow, to step into sibling rivalry. To have little to nothing to show for all of it at the end…to be denied by those He served and served…
Yet, 2 Corinthians 4:17, 18 says “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
I know it’s hard, Mama, but tune your eyes to see that it was hard for Jesus, too. He wept, He mourned, He asked for it to pass. He got hurt and felt it, momma. He lost sleep for angst. But thank you, LORD, for not running away, for not taking the easy way out, for not calling it quits. Thank you for digging in with your people. For patiently answering questions. For taking the little children in your arms. For not giving up on us. For feeding us. For saying the hard thing when we needed to hear it. I can’t imagine what motherhood would be without You, holding my hand…
Hebrews 4:15 – For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Parents: there is SO MUCH MORE TO WHAT YOU DO. We need to raise a generation that KNOWS GOD AND TRUSTS HIM. There are dark times coming, and those who do not have an experience of love through their parents will have a hard time standing. Those without roots of trust (which you are helping God grow with each question patiently answered, with each answered plea to be held, with each sacrifice you make, with each decision to protect) will not be able to handle these difficult times. I believe that God is blessing us abundantly today with resources to become parents that parent LIKE HIM because our children are going to be surviving off of abundant life in Him, only. I thank God DAILY for all of the resources He has so graciously brought into my life BEFORE I raised my kids into pain and a lifetime spent with holes in their heart that I could have prevented. I PRAY that as a result of my pouring my WHOLE HEART into ministry inside the home, my children will be raised as strong soldiers that can lead a generation through these sad times. LORD, please raise up an army of parents who feel the weight of their responsibility. Who can see past titles and books and accolades. Who know that their reward is in heaven, and what an eternally weighted job they have to do. Parents, let’s do this!