When Elijah called Elisha, he burned his teams and their plows, revealing two things about him: he was a hard worker (twelve teams!) and he had a heart after God. He was not going to turn back, no sir, he had burned his livelihood!
As moms we can get so caught up in plowing with twelve oxen that we lose sight of the larger picture: we are serving God. Those little feet we wash are the feet of Jesus. Didn’t He say what we have done to the least of these we have done to Him? I remember once explaining that concept and telling a Christian friend I had sanctified diapers. She laughed at me. “Oh, Charlotte, you are too much!” she said.
I replied, “But I’m happier changing poopie diapers.”
Our work is done unto the Lord, whether in the home or in the marketplace. We aren’t just mom, or a secretary, or a plumber, we are Jesus in disguise—His workmen and His witness. Our plows are our offering—and Elisha’s became that literally when he was called to lift his hand from the plow and follow the prophet. He burned the yokes and the animals as a burnt offering, forsook it all, and followed.
Thanks to God for the sacrifice of His Son, we’ll never have to offer our kids as burnt offerings, but a time will come when we have to let them go, we give them back to God, and we are called to plow other fields.
However, the daily plowing, the plain old slogging it out, the doing of laundry, the mopping of floors, is not only our offering, it is our preparation. We learn when we get blisters, and the ox is stubborn, and the yoke shifts. We have to treat the blisters, train the ox and repair the yoke.
Did you ever think of Jesus as a carpenter for the first thirty years of his life? I bet tradesmen on their way to Nazareth would say to one another: “We’ll get that fixed in Nazareth, I know a carpenter there. . . .” His work spoke for itself: excellent. No shoddy work by the carpenter of Nazareth. Was it in the carpenter shop He first realized He could make all things new?
Today, I can look back on the day my three-year-old crawled into bed early one morning and asked me why she always thought of “me first.” She was struggling to share with her brand new two-year-old sister we had recently adopted. I breathed a prayer for the Holy Spirit to give me an answer and explained about the sin disease we caught from our great-great-great grandfather Adam. “Every man has that sin disease, and we all think of me first.”
“Jesus didn’t,” she replied, and I explained to her that Jesus was God’s Son, so He was born without the disease.
“I want to be more like Jesus,” she said, and when I told her He could live in her heart, she asked him to, right there. She bowed her head and said, “Jesus, live in me.” Some days at the plows are magical days.
And nights, too—like the night I was singing one of my boys to sleep, worshipping God, and his little voice joined me.
Or the day Beth’s little sister placed her hand on my swollen belly and said “I wish I had grown in your tummy.”
Once again, God being my Help, I breathed a prayer. I moved her little hand to my heart and said, “You grew right here, Candace, in Mommy’s heart.”
Each of those mini-glimpses into the life of a mother are God-moments, eternal moments in themselves, but they are also learning moments, training moments. We think plowing is a chore—and it is—but when the Master says, “Come follow Me,” we are ready, because we have learned at the plow.
Now I sit in front of my computer day after day praying to communicate the Good News that Jesus is alive and He cares about us and all these moments make up who I am. The ungrateful husband, two-year-old tantrums, the rebellious teenagers, they are a part of my history. I have slogged it out at the plow and learned. I have lived eternal moments in the daily grind—and you have, too—and it all has a purpose. God has a plan for you, and a future. Thank God for the plow!
Charlotte S. Snead is a mentor for her local Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS), she teaches young moms to love their husbands, train their children, and serve God. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Duke University with a B.A. in psychology, Charlotte completed her master’s in Social Work at the University of North Carolina. She and her husband, a surgeon, parented five children and fostered several others. One child and two grandchildren are adopted, motivating her pro-life work. In 1985, Charlotte founded a pregnancy help ministry and still serves on that board. She has been active in the pro-life movement for many years, writing bi-monthly for Life Matters, the state pro-life publication, and op-ed pieces in state newspapers. She has been published in The Pentecostal Evangel and Harpstring and has spoken in schools, meetings, conferences, and on Christian television and radio, as well as interviews with secular media. Her first novel, His Brother's Wife, was published by OakTara.