And, normally, I am thinking of the year I have had as a mother, ways I need to grow, the blessings of being a mama to my five, long conversations with God of gratitude and questions. Mostly I am thinking about how I can rest, feed my soul and how my crew can serve me.
But this Mother’s Day is different.
This weekend I’ve got something new stirring in my spirit. It all happened yesterday…
I heard something that stopped me in my tracks.
So many of us have heard and know by heart John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
And I, like so many of you, have thought, “Wow, Lord. That is beautiful. Wondrous. Thank You.”
But yesterday, I was listening to a sermon by John Piper called, “God So Loved the World, Part 1”. In an effort to drive home what John 3:16 truly means and to strangle apathy out of his listeners, he painted a vivid picture of what John 3:16 would be like if we said it to our OWN children (I’m paraphrasing):
“Sweetie, there is something I want you to do for me.”
“I have some enemies who hate me and that deserve to perish. They have hurt me deeply and tried to kill me and they deserve to die…
…And I want you to go and die in their place so that they can have eternal life.”
Piper goes on to say, “GOD SAID TO THE SON, “I HAVE A MISSION. THERE ARE ENEMIES. AND I WANT TO SAVE THEM EVEN THOUGH THEY SPIT IN MY FACE, AND I WOULD LIKE YOU TO SUFFER AND DIE IN THEIR PLACE SO THAT I CAN.”
Whatever else you know about God KNOW. THAT.
Whatever other confusing things you run into in the Bible KNOW. THAT.”
God the Father said to the Son, “Child of Mine, go and die.”
I fell on my knees and worshipped at the sheer gravity of the sacrifice.
Because I know I am not sending my sons to die FOR ANYONE, let alone my enemies who have spent their lives trying to kill me.
BUT GOD WAS WILLING TO DO THAT. HE WAS WILLING TO SEND HIS SON TO DIE.
And the truth is the enemy of God He is describing is me. The one who stood far from the knowledge of Christ even though deep in my moments of greatest despair and anguish I silently called out to Him.
Deep down I knew He was real.
And yet when I faced others I made a point to make a mockery of God. So terrified of the world’s disapproval I would seek out Christians to attack and defeat their faith. I was vicious and intellectual and lost. Because deep down I knew He was real but was so bitterly angry at Him I chose to mask my belief as atheism.
Lord, I repent for letting this verse of ultimate truth be to me like so many sweet posts on my Facebook page or benign reminders on my phone.Just another inspirational quote.IT IS NOT THAT. It is the ultimate reality because YOU ARE THE ULTIMATE REALITY.
So, to my point, this Mothers Day I am not thinking about the kind of mother I want to be, or the ways I need to rest, or taking inventory on how I want the next year of mothering to go.
I am thinking of the magnificent uniqueness of the relationship between the Heavenly Father and the Son and how my life of sin somehow fit in to this perfect union. And how I will never have to utter the words, “Child of mine, go and die.”
Because God already said it to His Son so that me and my children would not have to go and die in an unending dead eternity.
This weekend, I am standing in awe of the Pinnacle Parent.
The great example of what I want to be as a mother.
The Ultimate Zenith who, through John 3:16, bestowed on an undeserving world what every mother craves to lavish on her children in a grand, magnanimous excess:
Happy Mother’s Day!