"Mothering from the heart of God"

Lauri Inman

05-08-16

 

Happy Mother’s day! I’m very excited to be here. I am looking forward to sharing with you what God has put on my heart to share with you today. I am the mother of 5 beautiful children, and although I could spend the next half an hour telling you about all of my joys and failures as a parent, I’m not going to do that. I am very aware that not everyone here is a mother. Also, that mother’s day can be quite painful for some people. Maybe you were never able to have children, or your mother is no longer alive, or you had a poor example of motherhood. So, if you have checked out mentally and you can still hear my voice, check back in and listen to what I have to say. I have three characteristics that mother’s have that I believe came from the heart of God. We can all have these characteristics and can “mother” those around us.

 

The first one is: They always see the best in you.
Who has heard the expression, “they have a face only a mother could love”? Hopefully it wasn’t said about you! Hopefully you heard it on TV or read it in a book. Their is truth in it though. Mothers usually see the best in their children. We think our child is the best, the smartest, the prettiest. This ability to see greatness in our children comes from the heart of the Father.

Lets look at Judges 6:11­-16. Here we find the story of a young man named Gideon. Gideon, is an Israelite. At the time, Israel is being dominated by the Midianites. It says that they came in like an invasion of locust and the people of Israel had been reduced to grinding poverty. It is here that we find Gideon threshing wheat in a winepress. He is threshing wheat in a winepress out of fear. He is afraid of being caught, and his food being taken from him. He is consumed by fear and is the opposite of full of faith when God speaks to him. Let’s read this story.

 

One day the angel of God came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, whose son Gideon was threshing wheat in the winepress, out of sight of the Midianites. The angel of God appeared to him and said, “God is with you, O mighty warrior!” Gideon replied, “With me, my master? If God is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all the miracle­wonders our parents and grandparents told us about, telling us, “didn’t God deliver us from Egypt?” The fact is, God has nothing to do with us ­ he has turned us over to Midian.” But God faced him directly: “Go in this strength that is yours. Save Israel from Midian. Haven’t I just sent you?” Gideon said to him, “Me, my master? How and with what could I ever save Israel? Look at me. My clan’s the weakest in Manasseh and I’m the runt of the litter.” God said to him, “I’ll be with you. Believe me, you’ll defeat Midian as one man.”
Judges 6:11-16


I love that story. I love how God saw Gideon in his weakest, most vulnerable moments, where he is cowering in fear threshing wheat, and calls him a might warrior. He knew what he was going to be before Gideon himself knew it. He knew what he was capable of. I love this. The same God that saw greatness in Gideon, sees greatness in us. He know our potential and what we can become in His strength.

I can identify with Gideon being afraid. Fear is something I dealt with a lot when I was a child and in my teenage years. I grew up during the cold war. My parents never discussed it at home. Probably to protect us kids. But, at school, my teacher and the other kids had a big discussion about it. It was then that I learned about nuclear bombs, and the devastation they could cause. I was told about one little button, that if it was pushed it would send bombs to where I lived and we would all die. All of a sudden I felt vulnerable, unsafe. I had no idea how exposed the button was. Could someone just trip and accidentally push it? Or, someone in a moment of anger say “I’m sick of those Americans!” and push it? When I would lay in bed at night I would start to fear what could happen. I would break into a cold sweat and my heart would start pounding. God helped me through that. I would sing worship songs and ask God to help me. Pretty soon I would feel better and be able to go to sleep. I’m so thankful that in my moments of fear, God didn’t despise me. He encouraged me. He helped me.

 

There is another story in the bible that I love where it talks about God seeing the best in people. It is found in 1 Samuel 16:10­-13. Here we read the story of David being anointed as king. Saul, who was king, had turned his back on God. God instructed Samuel to anoint a new king. He instructed him to go to Bethlehem and to anoint one of Jesse’s sons as king. They had a gathering to worship God and consecrate themselves to him. David wasn’t even invited. Jesse brought his seven oldest sons, but left his eighth and youngest son, David, to stay and tend to the sheep. Let’s read the story now.

 

Jesse presented his seven sons to Samuel. Samuel was blunt with Jesse, “God hasn’t chosen any of these.” Then he asked Jesse, “Is this it? Are there no more sons?” “Well, yes, there’s the runt. But he’s out tending the sheep.” Samuel ordered Jesse, “Go get him. We’re not moving from this spot until he’s here.” Jesse sent for him. He was brought in, the very picture of health ­ bright­eyed, good­looking. God said, “Up on your feet! Anoint him! This is the one.” Samuel took his flask of oil and anointed him, with his brothers standing around watching. The Spirit of God entered David like a rush of wind, God vitally empowering him for the rest of his life.
1 Samuel 16:10-13

 

What an amazing God, that he saw that potential for a sheep herder to become king. When David’s own father didn’t see him as anything more than someone to watch the sheep, God had been watching him, and knew what he was capable of. He had seen his leadership skills with

the sheep. Heard his songs and his prayers to God. Knew his heart was right. God sees each of us too.

As a mother, I see great potential in each of my children. I see Madeline’s amazing ability for communication and her natural self confidence and see her speaking to thousands all over the world. I see Claire’s artistic ability and I’m amazed by it. I think she could design a line of clothing or have her art displayed in galleries. I see Max’s ability to get along with people and lead them. I see him leading a large group of people well. When I introduce Jane to people, I think, they’re going to love her. She is so bright and creative. She could invent something that would be life changing for us. I see Maggie’s brilliant mind and her ability to figure things out and think she could do anything! This is how I see my children because they are mine and I know them. I’ve known them their whole lives. I’ve seen them be needy and vulnerable, angry and scared. I’ve seen them at their worst and their best and I am convinced of their ability for greatness. That is how God sees you. He sees what you are capable of. He knows what you have inside of you. He doesn’t despise us in our weakness, he calls us to greatness. I’m so thankful for a God that sees the best in me.

 

The second one is: They are accessible to you.
Your mother is accessible to you. She is available to listen to what you have to say. To drop you off and pick you up. To help with homework. To speak encouragement and to give instruction. She is hands on in your life. Now, I know that Dad’s are great at this too, but it’s not Father’s day. We’re talking about mothers, and do believe God has given mothers a special ability to be accessible to their children. God has a desire to be accessible to his children too. Do you know that their are only a few stories in the bible about Jesus actually becoming angry.

We read about his compassion, his mercy, even about him confronting people, but rarely about him being angry. So of the few times he’s angry, two of them are about access to God. The first one can be found in Mark 10:13­16. Here we find Jesus speaking to a crowd of people. Jesus has become quite popular now, so his disciples are acting like bodyguards for Jesus. Now, a group of mothers have brought their kids to be blessed by Jesus, but they can’t get past the disciples. It says that they shoo them away. Jesus sees this happening and confronts the disciples over it. Let’s read it here.

The people brought children to Jesus, hoping he might touch them. The disciples shooed them off. But Jesus was irate and let them know it: “Don’t push these children away. Don’t ever get between them and me. These children are at the very center of life in the kingdom, Mark this: Unless you accept God’s kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in.” Then, gathering the children up in his arms, he laid his hands of blessing on them.
Mark 10:13-16

 

Now, it’s easy to read this and not really grasp how angry Jesus was. We picture a painting of Jesus in the 70’s with long hair and holding out his arms, and children of every color are standing around him with maybe a few sheep, and he’s calmly saying, “let the little children come to me”. That’s not how it was. It says he was irate. That is a greater level than irritation. He was angry! Now let’s read it in an angry voice, so that we can really grasp his reaction. “DON’T PUSH THESE CHILDREN AWAY! DON’T EVER GET BETWEEN THEM AND ME!” That sounds pretty different doesn’t it? I love it that I serve a God who will fight for my access to him. That it is important enough to publicly correct his closest friends. That he values each one of us enough that he wants us to be able to have access to him. Another story is found in John 2:15-­17. Here we find Jesus coming to the temple and finding it filled with merchants. The place in the temple that this was happening in was called the court of the gentiles. This was where non­-jews could go to worship God. But instead of being able to come and worship God, merchants had set up stalls and were trying to profit from people instead of giving them access to God. Jesus saw this and became angry again. Let’s read it now.

Jesus put together a whip out of strips of leather and chased them out of the Temple, stampeding the sheep and cattle, upending the tables of the loan sharks, spilling coins left and right. He told the dove merchants, “Get your things out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a shopping mall!”
John 2:15-17

 

I love how Jesus wasn’t afraid to make a scene when he saw an injustice happening. The people that were supposed to be helping people have a place to worship God, were in fact, creating a barrier to God. I don’t want my life to be like a table set up in the court of the gentiles. I don’t want to get in the way of people having access to God. I want to live a life that is attractive to people. That they would see me and want what I have. Jesus said, “I have made you a light unto the nations”. I want to be a light for Him.

 

My third and last point is: They sacrifice for you.
I think it’s quite easy to picture a mother sacrificing for her children. It’s not unusual to hear stories about them putting the needs of their children above their own. Preferring the needs of her children over that of her own. It’s not natural for people to be born with a desire to sacrifice. Babies are actually born qutie selfish. They have needs that they want met now. Children, for the most part, need to be taught how to share and to consider the feelings of others. So, why do mothers become so willing to sacrifice for their children? I think it comes from the heart of

God. He himself was willing to sacrifice His son for us. This is the greatest sacrifice. Let’s read Romans 5:7­-8.

We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.
Romans 5:7-8

Aren’t you thankful that he did that? I know I am. I know myself well enough to know that I am not worth dying for. I know all of my failures, my selfishness, all the mistakes I’ve made in the past. No one would die for me. So, what a gift to be given when we don’t deserve it! I can’t possibly earn it, but I’m so grateful that I can accept this gift. This sacrifice. Thanks you Lord that You see potential for greatness in my life. That I can have access to you through the sacrifice of your son Jesus Christ on the cross. I am beyond grateful. I encourage all of you here, to accept all that God has for you today. Begin to see yourself through his eyes. Speak life and call out greatness to those around you. Be a light so that you make God accessible to those around you. Receive his gift of salvation.