This is a copy of what I spoke on on Sunday morning…I’m hoping to get a copy of atleast one other “speech”.
In the book Hinds Feet on High Places, Hannah Hurnard writes an allegory about a girl named Much-Afraid whose heart’s desire is to make it to the High Places with the Shepherd. During her journey there, with her two companions Suffering and Sorrow, Much-Afraid is challenged and stretched in areas she never dreamed she would be; in fact she’s shocked that she is being expected to walk through them.
On one such “stretch” of her journey, Much-Afraid is having to climb a steep mountain-side. She is overcome with fear and knows that she cannot do this thing being asked of her. She calls out to the Shepherd to come to her aid. He does and after she explains her fears, he responds in this way…
“The Shepherd laughed… “I love doing preposterous things,” he replied. “Why, I don’t know anything more exhilarating and delightful than turning weakness into strength, and fear into faith, and that which has been marred into perfection…That is my special work…Transforming things…” (Hinds Feet on High Places)
I am so very thankful that our God is faithful in His transforming work of His children’s lives! When I became a mom, almost 7 years ago now (Ahh!) I knew so little of what would be expected of me. I was not prepared for the sacrifices, the changes, the flexibility, the love, and the faithfulness that were required in this journey called motherhood. (I was still learning how to fulfill those things in marriage!) There was much fear! I wanted to be good at it and know it all right away! I didn’t want to mess up or fall or be shamed in any way, but it is not the Way of our God to bring us to a higher place without allowing us the blessing of lessons in the journey.
So, on October 14, 2003 my life had a new path to take, and faithfulness from God, faithfulness in God and faithfulness to my husband and children were my “high places” to reach for.
What were my faithfulnesses from God? Psalm 92:1-2 says, “It is good to praise the LORD and make music to your name, O Most High, to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night…” In this Psalm the Hebrew defines faithfulness as “firmness, steadiness, trust, and honesty.” Becoming a wife and a mother are anything but times of rest and easiness. Exciting, yes! Enjoyable, most of the time. Fun, ofcourse. But, they are also times of new challenges, new knowledge, new love, and a deeper understanding of what love really is and what it requires. In the midst of all of this “newness” I needed to know there was Someone Who never changed, Who was always the same, Who was always there, and Who was always safe. When husband, house, cars, food, babies, and bills happened, I needed to know at the end of the day – at night, that I had been faithfully cared for by my God.
My faithfulness in God has only just begun. At the birth of each of our four children, Nathan and I gave them over to God. I have prayed with and over our children week by week since they came into our lives. I pray that they will live up to their names (Nathan and I name each of our children after we find out what they mean.) Christopher means “Christ-bearer”; Timothy means “one who honors God”; Aaron means “enlightened or light”; and Hannah means “grace of God”. I pray that they will each come to know Christ at a young age and choose to live the rest of their earthly lives for His kingdom and His glory. I have to have faith in God if I am to pray these things. Faithfulness is not blind’ it is believing in what we know Christ will enable us to see. I will remain faithful to my God because I want to glorify Him, I want to bless and honor my husband, and I want to lead my children by the hand, heart, and mind into the beginning of their own faithful lives in God.
So, mothers, fathers, friends, kids what does that look like? The only way I know how to find out how to live faithfulness, the gift God has given all of His children, is to study the One Who Is the definition. Jesus is the author and the perfecter of our faith or faithfulness. If He is the author, then I need to be “reading” Him. And so, I begin in The Word. There I find that He was a seeker of knowledge as a young boy; that He knew His purposes were from God and He sought no other plans than that of His Father. I find Him able to relax and enjoy friends, family, parties and community. I find Him faithfully meeting with His Father every day. I read that He chose close friends to invest His life in – to spur their faith on. He showed mercy, compassion, love, and forgiveness without hesitancy. He drew children to Himself and loved on them and blessed them. He told the truth at all times, in love. He was patient with His followers as they learned, failed, and tried again and again. He listened to them. He corrected them. He served them without requiring a return. He laid down His life for them. He is with us now; He continues to offer Himself even after we “grow-up”.
So, mom’s – So, Church, how is your faithfulness? Are you meeting with your God daily? Are you getting to know Him and what He requires of you? Are you training your children to love God with all their hearts, minds, and souls? Are you making each day a “party” with your family? Do you faithfully serve them…without seeking recognition from anyone but your Father who sees all you do? (Remember, when we serve them, we are teaching them to serve others.) Are you going to see when your little boys have built a really cool train, space ship, or robot with their legos or when your big boys have brought their newest dream home to share? Are you listening when your little girls are singing Princess songs from their Disney movies or when your older girls have feelings to share? Are you dancing with your husbands and your babies? Are you diligently correcting any wrong behaviors with love now instead of letting another instant go only to create more work and tears later? Are you laying down your life, your rights, your will in order to go to the “higher places” with your Shepherd? Remember, He delights in “turning weakness into strength, fear into faith, and that which has been marred into perfection.” God is faithful – steadfast and true; I pray you begin to see His faithfulness to you. I pray you also begin the “faith walk” yourself. It takes trust. It requires sacrifice. It means steadfast discipline. But it produces “life in Him”, and isn’t that what we as parents want so desperately for our children?
Oswald Chambers puts it this way, “Faith is the heroic effort of your life; you fling yourself in reckless confidence on God.” Whatever you are faithful to God in will be kept safe in His hands. He will keep it and tend to it until “that day” when you see it flourishing in the lives of your husband, your children, and those closest to you.