“Her children arise and call her blessed… Proverbs 31:28
I have been blessed beyond measure by a woman whose address is now Paradise, as in Jesus’ words, “Today you will be with me in paradise. There is no greater blessing from earthly relationships than to be granted the honor of godly parents; my mother was one half of the partnership, but my father might well say 75%. Psalm 8 says of us all that we were “made a little lower than the heavenly beings (angels); I believe my mother ranked up there among the angels, as I and others observed and as many others have given testimony. Sounds like the partisan bias of a son, but in no uncertain terms she was and is a remarkable woman, and a superb mother. How more blessed can anyone be? With Augustine I can speak of her as he did his own mother, Monica. Though their talents were distributed differently, I know a few other close friends who were equally so blessed, and I am sure last Sunday they were giving thanksgiving to God for the noble woman who gave them birth and enriched their lives, not only in this life but for eternity.
As I peruse Proverbs 31:10-31, though the tasks and the materials may differ somewhat I am reminded of the discipline, love, labor, and results of her hands and heart in so many resemblances to this woman of noble character. Just as the wife and mother here, she was quite multi-tasked, able to keep many balls in the air, without dropping or shirking any one of the areas to which God called her; and they weren’t few.
She was known all over the world as an indefatigable correspondent, who eschewed the computer age, and could fit more words in legible long hand on a 3×5 card, or any handy scrap of paper, than any of the loved recipients thought possible; sort of like the question “how many angels can be fit on the head of a pin? She wrote standing in lines, waiting for doctor appointments, watching her children’s performances, at any and all times and tirelessly. She prayed every bit as much, even more, than she wrote to encourage, support, inform, seek salvation and protection for others, and unwearyingly point her readers to the One upon whom her eyes were fixed (Hebrews 12:2). She actually wrote so much that the ligaments to her thumb on her writing hand wore out and had to be surgically repaired.
She was wife, mother, daughter, sister, pastor’s wife, Bible School designer/director, teacher, encourager, visitor, evangelist, singer, music director, hostess, and mentor to thousands. Sounds like super-woman without the red S under her clothes; I often thought she really was faster than a speeding bullet, and could leap tall buildings in a single bound; and actually those adjectives are apt analogies of what she accomplished in her schedule and work, as her quick mind and discipling heart never quit until God took her home at 86.
She was a sinner, like us all; she was well aware of her standing by grace alone before her Father in heaven. The reality of this truth drove her to her knees in prayer, to open her mouth in witness to the good news, even to those who did not want to hear, and to seek often in tears the salvation of her children, and all who entered her orbit. Her children indeed arise and call her blessed; a woman who fears the Lord, deserving of praise.
Mother’s Day is just past, but dates should never keep children, young or old, particularly you, from expressing thanksgiving where it is due. “Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with a promise, that it might go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth. (Ephesians 6:2) If her address reads Paradise, give thanks again for her to God. Speak specifically from your heart what would be pleasing to God in keeping His command. He takes note, and gladdens the hearts that never tire in giving thanks.
“His love is like a [mother’s] to her children, tender and kind to all who fear His name; for well He knows our weakness and our frailty, He knows that we are dust, He knows our frame. Bless Him forever, wondrous in might, bless Him His servants that in His will delight. (see Isaiah 66:13)
(3rd verse of Psalm 103 from The Psalter, 1912 )
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