Mother’s Day: Hurt, Hover, Honor

Mother’s Day seems to be a roller coaster or a basketball holiday—where some people are emotionally up while others are down.

For many, it’s a day reminding them of great loss, including mothers that have lost children. For others, it’s a day reminding them of their misfortune of having a deadbeat mom; or conjuring up the pain of being estranged from their mom. And still there are others who are reminded of the complications that prevent them from biologically experiencing the joy of motherhood.

Such emotional lows remind us that we live in a fallen broken world that has been damaged by sin. As a result, a day that is meant for joy and honor, because of sin, is wrought with hurt, pain, suffering, frustration, and loss. The reality is that there’s nothing that I can write or express that will take away the hurt, the pain, or the sorrow that you may feel. But what I can do is point to the all sufficient grace of God, and say that wherever you are, whatever the situation, and whatever the pain, God will meet you there, love you there, and be ever present with you giving you grace, peace, and comfort as you live in the here and now.

I love what Paul says in Romans 8, which has helped me through times of pain, suffering, and loss, “And we know that for those that love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Rom 8:28). Christianity is the only faith that teaches that God is able to bring about good—to work good—in our life even in the midst of hurt and heartache. In addition, I love what John Piper asserts regarding God’s work amidst our pain, hurt, suffering, and loss. He exclaims that God is working a peculiar glory. Just as God brought good to the world (not to mention was glorified) through the suffering and death of His Son, so too can God work mightily through your pain and suffering to bring about good, not only in your life but in the lives of those God has placed around you.

While there are certainly those who find Mother’s Day difficult, there are those who see Mother’s Day as a blessing whereby they can celebrate and honor their mothers.

In the second verse of Scripture, Genesis 1:2, we read, “The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” The imagery of the Spirit of God hovering over the face of the waters is like a mother bird hovering over her eggs to awaken them and bring them to life. While Genesis 1:2 has nothing to do with mothers, it certainly uses imagery befitting of mothers. Aren’t mothers the ones who hover over their children in protection, provision, and presence, in an effort to allow them to grow to maturity and flourish in the world?

Isn’t this the type of portrait the author of Proverbs 31 paints? Read the following verses from Proverbs 31:

  • “She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens.” Proverbs 31:14-15
  • “She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet.” Proverbs 31:21
  • “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” Proverbs 31: 25-26
  • “She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.” Proverbs 31:27-28

The mother whose children rises and calls her blessed is a mother who “hovered” over her children—who cared for, provided for, protected, counseled, and played with her children.

Such actions of motherhood serve to bring life, maturity, and flourishing to their children.

I know that I can say today—beyond a shadow of a doubt—that God has greatly used the “hovering” of my mother to bring me to the place I am today. Her care, wisdom, love, support, protection, provision, and presence has been a chisel used by a sovereign God to craft me into the man, husband, father, and pastor I am today. For me I have no reservation about rising up today and calling my mom blessed! She is a rare and priceless jewel that has brought great value to and in my life!

Happy Mother’s Day to My Mom

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Just as God has greatly used my mom to shape me, I know that He is also using my wife to shape our children into the people He intends for them to become. The way she loves, cares for, provides, dwells, plays, and supports our children are second to none. I know that our children have a mother for the ages because I see the heart, passion, intensity, wisdom, and maturity with which she mothers. She definitely “hovers” in a way that enhances their lives and provides opportunities for them to flourish in this world. My children simply are better children as a result of their mother!

Happy Mother’s Day to My Lovely Wife

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I also would be remiss if I didn’t recognize two other amazing women who have served me (and my children) in a motherly capacity: my grandmother and my mother-in-law.

My grandmother is one of the most amazing women in the entire world. When I think of my grandma, Mother Teresa comes to mind. I don’t know if there is ever a time in her life where she is not giving. I think she wakes up every morning thinking about someone she can give something to. Over the last 33 years of my life I have greatly benefited from the generosity of my grandmother—whether it was the cinnamon toast and oatmeal she made me when I was sick or the financial and emotional support she (and my granddad) gave me while going through college and seminary.

My mother-in-law I think created a new cereal that she eats every morning called, Jesus Flakes, since she lives every second with the posture that Jesus is Grrrrrreat! (I know that was kind of cheesy J). Nevertheless, I’m grateful for her passion for Jesus. It’s a passion that not only has challenged me and my walk, but has greatly influenced my wife for God’s glory and her family’s good.

Happy Mother’s Day to My Grandmother

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Happy Mother’s Day to My Mother-in-Law

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In short, three words came to my mind this Mother’s Day: hurt, hover, and honor. Thus, today I pray for those whose hearts hurt, and pray that God’s grace will be sufficient and that He will comfort them with the peace that surpasses all understanding. Today, I praise God for the way my mom “hovered” over me and the way my wife “hovers” over our children. And today, I honor my mom, my wife, my grandma, and my mother-in-law and rise up and call them blessed for they have been a treasured blessing to not only me, but also to Caleb, Ellie, and Luke.

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers! You are greatly loved and cherished, and today we honor you!

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