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Devotional: Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day Devo Pic

 

After hearing Pastor Barry’s sermon on Sunday, I thought it was ironic that it happened to be Mother’s Day. This was my first Mother’s Day and I was excited to celebrate! Being my first, you wouldn’t think that I had many expectations, but I began to realize as the day went on that I most definitely had expectations. Josh and I were awoken in the morning (before the alarm) to Wesley crying through the monitor. Josh got up to get him a bottle and I got him out of his crib. His diaper was full and he was not happy. I changed him and we tried to get him to settle down. Eventually he calmed down enough to go back into his crib. But by that time, I was not able to get back to sleep. I looked over at Josh sleeping soundly and thought, “must be nice.” I decided to get up so that I could start getting ready for church and I saw that one of the cats had thrown up in front of my dresser. “Happy Mother’s Day”, I thought sarcastically to myself as I got the carpet cleaner and paper towels. I started the day with a bad attitude because I wasn’t being handed breakfast in bed while Josh took care of Wesley by himself. I was frustrated because I wasn’t being served.

The words of Paul in Philippians that Pastor Barry preached on this Sunday were so stunningly pertinent to my situation, I knew that God was speaking to me; more specifically my incredibly selfish heart. Pastor Barry explained that through Paul’s writing, he tells us that “the motivation for humility is our union with Christ; being in Christ, His love, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit and the compassion that we have received in Him.” Paul writes in Philippians 2:1 -  “Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion…” It is through a relationship with Christ and a desire for Him that we discover a true desire for humility through our union with Him and an understanding of His love for us. Paul goes on to write in Philippians 2:5-8, “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!” (ESV) As Pastor Barry explained in his sermon, the same mindset that Paul is calling us to is a shared allegiance that we have in Christ. He goes on to say that this allegiance only begins and continues as we dethrone ourselves from our hearts. It is through His selflessness and the humility of Jesus that we are able to exercise the same humility through the power of the Holy Spirit. And the only way to do this is for Christ to take the place as the ruler of our hearts.  

I was angry that my Mother’s Day didn’t look like me sitting on a throne and being served all day. I was frustrated that on this one day, things didn’t go the way I wanted. But as I thought about the example set by Jesus, I was ashamed by my selfishness and lack of desire to be a servant to those in my life instead of demanding that they serve me. Jesus came to this earth, deserving of all praise and worship as the one true King, and He was beaten, nailed to a cross and crucified. I live my life, a wretched sinner deserving of death, and receive grace upon grace, in addition to eternal life and an inheritance from our King. And yet, I have the audacity to expect to be served? And to get frustrated when I am not? The words of Paul in Philippians were a stark reminder of my selfishness and I was humbled on the spot.

When I come face to face with the depths of my selfishness, it can be hard to embrace the grace that is so freely offered to me. But I think that is what makes it so amazing, and it is only possible through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus who sits at the right hand of God interceding on our behalf. It’s hard to understand why the Lord would want someone like me, but I am so very thankful that He does. And I am thankful for His pursuit of me in my selfishness and the example set by His son that I have to follow through the power of the Holy Spirit. Brothers and sisters, I wish that I could say my attitude will be one of humble servitude next Mother’s Day. Somehow, I doubt that will be the case. But I know, by God’s grace, He will convict me again and again, not to guilt or shame me, but to remind me of the overwhelming grace that is mine in Christ Jesus! Join me in praising Him for the free gift of love that we have because of the humble sacrifice of our Lord, and let us seek God to help us be more like Jesus as we love and serve those around us.

 

Photo Credit: Caroline Hernandez