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Desiring a better country…

October 19, 2022 as Mother lay in her own bed, in her own home, with family keeping vigil, she drew her final breath. She left her earthly country home for her heavenly country home. Her life here may have spanned a hundred years, but it was never designed to be her permanent home. It was never meant to be. Her earthly life was the proving ground for the home God was preparing for her in heaven.

As a young adult she gained citizenship into her heavenly country by accepting personally Christ’s death and resurrection. Then lived out her life guided by the precepts of her destined heavenly home. Expectedly, the growing up years of my siblings and I were flavored with these principles.

Therefore, the celebration of her transition to her new country home played out against that background. A background that colored all that we experienced in the present with the shades of God’s love and plans for us individually. As she loved her family unconditionally, she represented the unconditional love of God for His children. While we messed up on more than one occasion, all of us knew that Mother’s love and forgiveness was as constant as the sun rising. It’s the same with God.

During Mother’s home going and celebration of life afterwards, reminders of God’s tender care of those He loved continued to unfold. The fulfillment of Mother’s longing to live in her own house in her declining years and to transition from there to her heavenly home was, I believe, God’s gift to her faithfulness. God’s finishing touch was in holding back the predicted rain and gifting us with the splendor of a exquisite autumn day as we said our final goodbye’s at the cemetery.

Family bonding grew even stronger as we came together to celebrate her life. It was family that conducted the funeral. So we all were intricately woven. That’s God’s plan is it not, to bring family together in such times to share the strength God has given each of us. And in doing so, we are able to go out from that place stronger than when we came. Maybe even finally to have the realization to lay aside those choices that have distracted us and prevented us from honoring God with our lives. Or even blocked our way to understanding what it meant to have a personal relationship with God.

Mother’s home going reminded all of us that life in this earthly country is not permanent. The day WILL come when we will experience the outcome of our personal choices here on earth. It’s unavoidable. Desire a better country, as Mother did.

Love in its purest form!

4Love is patient, love is kind.

Love does not envy,

is not boastful, is not conceited,

does not act improperly,

is not selfish, is not provoked,

and does not keep a record of wrongs.

Love finds no joy in unrighteousness

but rejoices in the truth.

It bears all things, believes all things,

hopes all things, endures all things.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Paul’s purpose in writing the above verses was to illustrate what true love looked like. It would do us all well to study this chapter and in particular verses 4-7, in order to possess a clear picture of true love. And if we desire to have a visual of something on earth that comes the closest in comparison, we need look no further than a Mother’s love.

Consider a Mother’s love as it compares to the above description. Does it express the heart of this biblical description? Anytime, pleasing self take priority above the object of our love, we are not loving with a pure love.

But thanks for the unchangeable word of God, we will always have sources to go to when our vision of true love becomes blurred. That clear source of a Mother whose love for their children reflects the love God has for them as defined in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 will always reflect love in its purest form here on earth.

How does one honor Mother’s Day in a blog that focuses on negative thinking?

 

Well, I’ve been thinking about that and it can be done.  But it will require a journey back in time, a time in my early twenties. (I am 64 now so that’s 40 something years ago.  Can anyone really remember back that far?)

Like many 20 year olds I was straining at the bit to discover what I was to be doing with my life.  I had my own ideas about what I wanted to do and often those ideas were in direct conflict with my parent’s ideas.  But look, I was in my 20’s and I didn’t necessarily have to agree with my parent’s ideas, right?  I had the right to speak my mind for I was an adult, (that was my thinking).

It was during this ‘testing of my wings’ time that I began to experience conflict with my mother.  For she had ways that I was quite judgmental of, so now and then I would confront her about those.  (For they were quite irritating to me, you see)  As you might expect, those confrontations usually ended in tears and hurtful words.  Slowly, through my own misguided attempts to point out to my mom areas where I thought she needed to make some changes, a wall began to form.

Then at age 21 I had an encounter with God that dramatically transformed my thinking–especially about the conflict between my mother and me.

As I grew in my devotion to God, He helped me to understand and see my mother in a clearer light.  He pointed out to me that to honor Him I would need to honor my mother.  And one of the ways I could do that was to stop trying to conform her into an image of my own making.

I felt very strongly that God was pointing out to me back then to accept my mother just the way she was.  I was to resist any attempt to point out changes I felt she needed to make.  Slowly that wall that I had constructed between us began to crumble.

So what’s the connection between fiery darts and what took place in my life  over 40 years ago?

I now know that my thinking back then was characteristic of a fiery dart attack.  All those common sense thoughts that convinced me my mother needed to be corrected were fiery darts aimed at damaging the relationship between she and I.

But when I allowed God’s Word to influence my thinking then my actions and attitudes towards my mother became more accepting.  So much so that those things which use to irritate me simply didn’t bother me anymore.

Even though I wasn’t wise to the particulars of Satan’s scheme to attack me with fiery darts, God was.  And because I was so saturated with God’s Truths, I was able to benefit from the wisdom of those Truths as I applied them to the struggling relationship I had with my mother.

As I listened and learned from God how to honor and show respect for my mother, our relationship steadily improved.  Now that I’m 64 and my mother is 90, I find that my admiration for her continues to increase.  I’m convinced that the relationship we have enjoyed through the years since that time in my 20’s is the by-product of a mother who was faithful to love (and forgive) and a daughter who chose to cooperate with God as He taught her how to honor and respect her mother.

Years later, as I absorbed less and less of God’s Word, I unknowingly allowed Satan to set me on a path of destruction.  But the unfailing love of God intervened and well you can read all about my rescue in Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice.