For the past month our oldest son has been asking me what I want for Mother's Day. I've had no other ideas to offer him except one: that he aspire nothing greater than to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ; walk closely with Him and that love for the Almighty be preeminent in his life.
I'm 45 now and I pretty much have everything I need or want. When you get to be my age, there's very little you desire that money can buy. The things that are most cherished are the things of the heart. And since Christ is my Lord and Savior, His Holy Spirit inhabits my heart and directs my desires to be more like Christ and less like I was pre-second birth (Rom 8:28-29, Gal 2:20).
The desires of our flesh begin to wane as we draw nearer to the Lord Jesus. We begin to see things with the new spiritual eyes He gave us. And the things we treasure are no longer the things that satisfy our flesh. We begin only to long for the greater things—the things that satisfy the Spirit of Christ within us.
"What shall I render to the LORD for all His benefits to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD, I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all His people."
~Psalm 116:12-14 (ESV)
This Mother's Day is bitter sweet for me as I only have one son still in my life. Our second son, as many of you have already read, is our prodigal and has disdained and rejected all that our most generous and gracious Lord has blessed him with through our family. Sadly, our son is a scoffer (Prov 9:7, 13:1) and prefers to join himself with people who tickle his ears (Prov 26:28, 27:6) rather than love him and build him up in the truth (Ps 141:5).
Because we have the love of Christ, we have much pity for our son gone astray and for those helping him in his rebellion. There is no safer or lovelier place than in the Lord Jesus, and they're all missing out on the greatest Gift.
May our merciful and compassionate LORD grant them all godly grief (2 Cor 7:9-10).
"It is only as Christ's words remain in us and we remain in him that we will be delivered from the rootless Christianity so characteristic of our times."
~Sinclair Ferguson (A Heart for God)
The greatest gift a mother's heart desires is not for gold, trinkets or anything that will fade away with this world. But the greatest desire any God-fearing and Christ-loving mother has, is to see her children, all her children, walking in truth (1 Jn 3:18). And this is something she can't do for them.
There's a point and time in every person's life where they need to take responsibility for the gifts and even sin patterns they have. Every saved person can choose to use their God-given strengths to overcome the sinful temptations of their flesh, or they can ignore the good and revel in the evil.
A mother can neither take the credit for the fruit and blessings of a godly child, nor can she take the blame for one gone astray. The best and most loving thing a mother can do is be obedient to God's Word (Deut 6:6-9, Prov 31:26) and diligently train up her children in the loving discipline and instruction of the LORD; and trust Him for the results.
My heart echoes what Job aptly spoke, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD." (Job 1:21, ESV).
"We turn to God when our foundations are shaking, only to learn that it is God who is shaking them."
Though this Mother's Day will be bitter sweet, it will be more sweet than bitter because Jesus is still on the throne and the Almighty is still sovereign. Therefore, I choose to relish the goodness of Christ my Savior and thank Him for both my sons, the one who strives for holiness and the one who has spurned God's goodness. All children are gifts from God (Ps 127:3); therefore, I am grateful and rejoice!