The prophet Jeremiah included words of encouragement for Jerusalem and especially for those who trusted in the Lord. When I think about Mother’s Day approaching, I think about all the amazing mothers who trust in the Lord while raising their families. The words in Jeremiah 17:7-8, apply to all the godly mothers I know, including my own.
“Blessed is the man (or mother) who trusts in the Lord,
whose trust is the Lord.
He (She) is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit” (words in parenthesis, mine).
I am thankful for a mother who took me to church. And though she could not carry a tune, she also taught me her favorite hymns, so that sitting in church I could make a joyful noise unto the Lord and join in with corporate worship.
I am thankful for a mother who taught me to say “Yes, I did it,” “I am sorry,” and “Please forgive me.” I learned the appropriate response for my sins, and how to ask forgiveness, first from others and later from God.
I am thankful for a mother who taught me from a young age to say the “God is good” prayer at meals, then encouraged me to pray “thank you” prayers before I went to bed until prayer became a habit. As I grew, my mother would pray with me for all of my personal problems, big or small, and was quick to remind me when she saw God’s answers to our prayers, until I began to seek them out for myself.
I am thankful for a mother who helped me memorize scripture. Our Sunday School class regularly rewarded us with bookmarks or pens when we learned the Ten Commandments, or other portions of scripture that were part of our lessons. My mother celebrated those rewards as if I had graduated with an advanced degree. To this day, those verses remain in my heart.
I am thankful for a mother who reached out to others when she saw a need. Many times, I watched my mother prepare a favorite casserole and special cake to help a neighbor with a new baby or a sick child. From her I learned compassion and practical help.
I am thankful for a mother who had a grateful spirit. In our family we were required to write thank you notes before we were allowed to play with toys or wear clothes that had been given to us as gifts. That exercise became a habit that I practice to this day.
I am thankful for a mother that told me the truth about death and heaven. When my best friend’s grandpa died, she told me that her grandpa would be dead for a while and then would become an angel. My mother used that opportunity to carefully explain in words that I could understand that heaven was where all people who love Jesus go immediately when they die. We spent many days discussing what the Bible tells us about heaven, about Jesus coming back, about angels and the jobs they do for God. I told my friend about those talks, and later she asked my mother to tell her about heaven too.
I am thankful for a mother who helped me figure out God’s plan for my life. As a teenager I was anxious about what to study if I were able to go to college, and what to do with my life when I grew up. My mother would point out times when I was engrossed in a particular subject, showed a character trait that she thought was important, and shared positive comments my teachers or scout leaders told her about me. Those steppingstones helped me to recognize my God-given bents and helped to guide me in making life decisions.
Thank you, Lord, for mothers who are enduring models of faithfulness, with roots that go deep. Thank you that we can recognize and enjoy the fruit of their efforts. Her children rise up and call her blessed.” (Proverbs 31:28)
About the Author:
Sharon is recently retired from a career first as a chemist and then as a regulatory affairs consultant to the medical device industry. She has served on the women’s ministry team at Grace Presbyterian Church in her hometown of Yorba Linda, California, and has worked as the west coast regional advisor for the PCA. Her husband, two married daughters and two married sons are all engineers, who provide interesting technical conversations for a dinner table. Sharon is working on completing her bucket list which includes raising orchids, attending culinary school, bird watching and traveling. She has three young granddaughters and one grandson who she and her husband hope to meet as soon as the pandemic allows travel.