Last Sunday's sermon totally rocked the foundation of my little world. Here it is Saturday and I am still pondering one little scripture and truly trying to grasp the depth of its meaning as it applies to my life and my family.
My precious husband, who is also my pastor was preaching here, from the 3rd John 4 and Hebrews 11. If you go back and read the entire faith chapter, Heb. 11, the author talks about all the people who walked in faith throughout their lives in spite of great trials and personal suffering. Then it says..."the world was not worthy of them." How many times have I read this chapter and skimmed right over the power in this verse? This is the moment the foundation of my world began to rumble! Monty said, "can you imagine their mother's praying that their children would be imprisoned, beaten, stoned, etc.? But, the world was not worthy of them."
What do we truly desire for our children and is it in complete alignment with what God desires? Do we desire for "the world to be unworthy of them?" I know God does not desire suffering and hardship for his children just as no parent in their right mind does. He simply created us all for the sole purpose of having a personal, intimate relationship with us. But....we know that because of sin in the world suffering and hardships are simply unavoidable. So, do we truly desire for our children to love God with such a passion even if it means they will experience all forms of persecution and suffering? Okay, can you see how this sermon could really shake up a mommy's precious little world?
The best description I've ever heard of being a mommy is "Being a mother is like having your heart walk around outside of your body." As soon as I found out I was carrying each precious little baby God has blessed us with, I was suddenly overcome with a mommies passion to fight to the death for each child if it was required. Immediately upon the doctor placing each child in my arms I was overwhelmed with an indescribable love that nothing in life can ever compare to. So yes, to say I want the absolute best for each of my children, to say, I desire to give them every good and perfect gift would be a drastic understatement! But what is the best? Is it riches and servants and for everything to go their way or is it to truly be completely sold out passionate followers of Christ?
Personally, I've learned in my own life that I wouldn't trade anything for the strength and wisdom I have gained from walking through the fires of life with Christ. Oh yeah, I hate those fires!!! I can pitch a fit and whine and complain with the best of them until I finally submit and let God do his work in my life. But, I know I would take no amount of money or anything else for that matter, for the peace of Christ and knowing Him and His love that I have gained through these experiences. I don't want my children to attempt to live their lives with the God of their parents, but I want Him to be THEIR GOD! No, I do not want my children to suffer or face unimaginable trials but I also know that it is often what is required to truly know God. So...more than anything, I want for them to have the strength to stand strong when they do come. To passionately depend on Christ for the very air they breathe and for their passion to give them an unfaltering strength to endure. I want them to be willing to go anywhere and do anything God wants them to do. I want them to truly, entirely and completely live their lives for Christ. When the call of Christ comes on their life, I want their first thought to be "Oh, thank you Lord for calling me. I will gladly go wherever you lead." I want the world to not be worthy of them.
I really feel like I'm setting this mother's heart up for unimaginable suffering. These children are my heart. They are my life.
I have to ask myself though, when I stood before God and the church to dedicate each of them to the Lord did I truly give them up to Him as Hannah did Samuel? Did I give them completely to God?
My six year old continually talks about how she wants to grow up and be a doctor and in the next breath she's weeping and talking about how she wants to go to India and take care of all the unwanted baby girls. This actually began a couple of years ago. Monty and I were completely shocked by the depth and understanding of a 4 year old to feel the needs of children a world away. I don't know the plans God has for this precious, tenderhearted little girl, or for any of our precious children. His plans may not be anywhere near as glamorous (if you can even use this word to describe being a missionary???). But, I can assure you, if we spend a fortune to educate her and witness her becoming a doctor and she immediately decides to get on a plane headed for India, not one penny will be wasted. We will honestly be able to say goodbye, as painful as it will be knowing we will be separated for years at a time and knowing she will face life threatening trials, that "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth." 3 John 4
I am exhausted! Pulling this post from the depths of my heart has worn me completely out. I probably should have warned you in the beginning to read with caution. This is just where I'm at right now. I'm honestly trying to search my heart for the answers to these very tough questions. Do I really want what God wants for my children? Do I want the world to be unworthy of them?