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Moms: Heroes of Faith

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Mother's day

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Moms: Heroes of Faith

Moms: Heroes of Faith

USELESS HEROES

USELESS HEROES
The Summer is almost here and with it the usual bombardment of Summer blockbusters. It seems that the superhero movies have been dominating the movie screens as of lately, doesn’t it?
The culture of deeply admiring “super heroes” seems to have grown in great proportion.
One clear trend I’ve noticed is the conglomerate of separate movies into one huge meta-narrative. Each movie becoming a piece of a much larger storyline.
Yet with each new saga development, the clearer it has become to me how these super hero characters are completely detached from the realities of our daily lives.
In real life we don’t battle space monsters, or sea monsters. We battle … daily life.
We battle our bills. The flu. Our weight. And then, when we decide to get real about our lives, we battle loneliness. Failure. Injustice.
So when you think about it, none of the superheroes Hollywood has come up with are actually of any use for us in the real world.
There’s no “Overdue-bills Super Man” busting through the window at the nick of time right before I get slapped with a late fee and higher interest rates. That’s not happening.
There is no “My-child-has-a-fever-at-2am-and-I-gotta-be-at-work-at-7am Wonder Woman” that will be coming to our rescue. At 2 am who cares about Godzilla, I need to sleep!
We could sure use one of THESE kinds of super heroes for the real battles in our lives!

USEFUL HERO

As we look at the landscape of humanity across geographical, economic, and ethnic, lines - there is a real life super hero that does come in at the nick of time to rescue us.
When we are feeling insecure about ourselves.
When we are not sure of what to do.
When we feel unwanted, rejected … who can we call?
Our mom.
In the movies that we idolize in the West, the hero is usually a regular person who discovers they have super abilities. They are usually pushed into using these super abilities and thus they become the super heroes they were destined to be.
Ironically, and tragically, our Western culture works hard to convince us that our real life super heroes - mothers - that in spite ALL that they do, they are just regular people who’s existence is inconsequential.
But that is not reality.
The ACRONYM M-O-T-H-E-R itself speaks as to crucial role mother’s play in our lives:
Mom. The proverbial "first word" of an infant often sounds like "ma" or "mama". This strong association of that sound with "mother" has persisted in nearly every language on earth. Mum in the United Kingdom. Mam in the Netherlands. Mata in India. Even Mama in Chinese. No matter how big, or fast, or powerful an athlete is, when they look into the camera what do they always say? “Hi mom!” Affection and love poured out in one simple word – “mom” – no matter what the language.
Others. When you really think it through, many mothers work as many as 90 hours a week. Their job description defies logic. A loving hand on a skinned knee. Miles and miles of taxi service. Applause from the 3rd row of the 2nd grade school play. Tears of joy at graduation – whether it is from dance class or college. Dishes…diapers…drama…discipline. Duties all selflessly performed by the person we affectionately call “mother”.
Teacher. Solomon admonishes us to “forsake not your mother’s teaching” ( ESV). He goes on to say that those teachings are “a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck” ( ESV). Life changing lessons taught during late night talks that shape our character for the rest of our lives.
Honor. The first commandment ever given with a promise was “honor your father and mother” ( ESV). Why? “That it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land” (vs 3). The word honor literally means “weighted value”. We are to deeply honor and profoundly value our mothers – and in turn God promises blessings poured out on our lives.
Encourager. Your greatest cheerleader will always be your mom. No matter what. Through thick and thin. Good and bad. Laughter and pain. I am reminded of the instruction Paul gave when he said “encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all” ( ESV). Sounds like what a mom does all of the time!
Relationship. What’s interesting is that of the seven phrases Jesus uttered on the cross, one of them was directed to the person who gently pushed Him into public ministry (), and searched frantically for Him when she thought He was lost (). She stood with Him at Calvary when virtually everyone else deserted Him. Jesus acknowledged her, and provided for her, even during His tortuous death on the cross of salvation. “When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother!’ And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.” ( ESV). A relationship begun in a manger… confirmed in a miracle… and declared even in mourning. Mother.
My friend Ann Voskamp eloquently puts it like this; “Someone prayed to God saying ‘I need someone who can shape a soul and find shoes on Saturday morning and get grass stains out of Levis. Someone with a heart strong enough for toddler tantrums and teenage testing, yet broken enough to fall on her knees and pray, pray, pray.’ So God answered by making a mother.”
Life didn’t come with a manual – it came with a Mother.
Interestingly Steven Curtis Chapman’s song “Do everything” begins with an honest question about motherhood.
You’re picking up toys on the living room floor
For the fifteenth time today
Matching up socks
Sweeping up lost cheerios that got away
You put a baby on your hip
Color on your lips and head out the door
While I may not know you,
I bet I know you
Wonder sometimes, does it matter at all? …
At no time in our Western history have women, specifically those experiencing motherhood, have been forced to ask that monumental question - “does what I do as a mother matter at all?”
The Bible says that choosing to be a mother can transform a nation.
The OT history of the Exodus with its monumental plagues and magnificent Divine deliverance begins with a mother who refused to let her child perish at the risk of her own life and everything she held dear. That child of course was Moses the deliverer. Her ingenious creativity to make a basket and place it in the last place the Egyptian soldiers would look for her son. What a hero to her child!
Jocabeth may have asked herself, “does it matter what I am doing anyways? Even if my child survives to be old enough to be brought out into the open, he’ll still end up like me and his father … and the rest of us Israelites. He’ll be living the rest of his life as a slave!
Is what I am doing, is all this sacrifice and effort … “does it matter at all?
God would answer her with a huge “YES!” Her child Moses was used by God to put an end to their slavery. The son Jocabeth put efforts and sacrifice to keep alive would become the son that God would use to set Jocabeth free from slavery. The child she put in the basket and in the river would lead her and the rest of the Israelite nation through the Red Sea into experiencing the fulfillment of God’s promises!
What Jocabeth did, did matter!

IDEAL VS OUR REAL PRESENT HOSTILE WORLD

It is ideal if one is to be a mom, to be mom full-time. Yet as I pondered upon the life of Jocabeth, she too was a slave. She did not get maternity leave. She did not get special privileges because she had a newborn at home. She was a working mom! She would have loved to have taken care of her son.
The Bible is clear, to be a hero-mom such as Jocabeth, one must be a mother of faith and prayer.
“By FAITH Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were NOT AFRAID of the king’s command.”
Much like the hostile environment Egypt was when Moses was born, we bring our children into a very hostile environment as well.
Life is not like it was several decades ago. It is extremely difficult for many families to survive with just one income. Though many mothers would love to be able to raise their children, to be full-time moms, our society has made that a difficult reality to achieve.
Pressures from the economic sector or pressures of expectations from the professional sector. All make being a mom a very difficult choice.

FAITH REMINDS US OF THREE THINGS

Yet FAITH provides a perspective that is essential for being a mom. Faith continually reminds each mom of these three things:

1. God is working with you. He is on your side.

“ But thus says the LORD: “Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible be delivered; for I will contend with him who contends with you, and I will save your children.
All flesh shall know that I, the LORD, am your Savior, and your Redeemer …”
He sees your sacrifices and efforts. The overwhelming difficulties and hostile environments may cause you to ask yourself at times “is what I am doing making a difference? Does it matter at all?” God will make everything you do matter!
Every BIG and LITTLE thing you do for the preserving and protecting your children from this hostile world, God will make it count.
We cannot really determine what is BIG and what is SMALL in life. We are not as good as we think we are in making that distinction.
One of the things we consistently view as small is PRAYER. Prayer is HUGE! Prayer is the biggest hero-thing you can do for your child. Others may forget to pray for your child, but you as a mother must be persistent in pressing God’s throne of grace for the times of need in which He will surely act and intervene in their lives in marked are real ways.
Which leads us to the second thing FAITH leads moms to see:

2. God hears your prayers.

‘when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also.”
Your faith is highly contagious, so be careful what you put your faith in. Your children will follow your faith.
If you tell your children to pray, they will not pray. If your children see you pray, they will pray.
If you tell your children to study their Bibles, they will not study their Bibles.
If your children see you studying your Bible, they will study their Bibles.
If you love God with all your heart, your soul, strength and mind, your children will too.
Your faith is contagious, so choose daily to put your faith in God and your children will find it easier to follow in your steps of faith.
The third thing FAITH leads moms to see is that:

3. God loves your children as much as you do, and then some!

“Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb?
Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you. See, I have engraved you on the palms of My hands; …
The Gospels are replete with accounts of parents coming to Jesus on behalf of their children, and in each and every case Jesus intervenes on behalf of the children because of the parents earnest requests.
Some accounts are there to encourage you to pray with faith that extends our perceptions and perspective. To have faith even after you may feel all hope has been lost.
Jairus’ daughter was dead, yet Jesus whispered into his ear “do not be afraid, only believe.” See .
God’s ultimate desire for your children is for their salvation. And He promises He will never forget them, ever. That He will FIGHT for their freedom, and ultimately for their opportunity to receive eternal life.
You can place your faith in God’s power to save and never lose hope that He can!

CLOSE AND APPEAL

Dr. James Dobson:
Many women feel that the job of "mom" is boring and monotonous–and they are right! But so is practically every other occupation.
I once stayed in a hotel next to the room of a famous cellist. I could hear him through the walls (believe me!) as he practiced hour after hour. He did not play beautiful symphonic renditions; he repeated scales over and over. As the cellist strolled onstage that evening, I'm sure many in the audience thought, "What a glamorous life!" Some glamour. He spent the entire day alone in his hotel room.
Few of us enjoy heart-thumping excitement each moment of our professional lives. How thrilling is the work of a medical pathologist who examines bacterial cultures from morning until night or a dentist who spends his days drilling and filling? The job of a homemaker can be about as boring as most others. Yet in terms of significance, no job can compete with a mother's task of shaping and molding a human being in the morning of life.
This is why the song we looked at earlier doesn’t end with that question
“… does it matter at all?”
Here’s how the rest of the song goes:
“You’re picking up toys on the living room floor
For the fifteenth time today
Matching up socks
Sweeping up lost cheerios that got away
You put a baby on your hip
Color on your lips and head out the door
While I may not know you,
I bet I know you
Wonder sometimes, does it matter at all?
Well let me remind you, it all matters just as long
As you do everything you do
To the glory of the One who made you,
'Cause He made you,
To do
Every little thing that you do
To bring a smile to His face
Tell the story of grace
With every move that you make
And every little thing you do”
Everything you do for your children with God’s glory in mind, God will make it matter. God will make it make a difference for now and eternity.
Take courage. God is on your side. God hears your prayers. God loves your children as much as you do, and then some!
It is the grace of God working in you that will make you the hero your children will need in the many changes and phases of their lives.
Mothers, believe that what you do matters because you matter to God.
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