“May you [mothers] be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.” (Colossians 1:11-12)
They are hardly perfect, these mothers that we elevate, applaud, snuggle up to for storybook time, and lean into for shelter from harsh elements and horrid situations. They do their best, exert the greatest effort and yet, regrettably, often come up short. Rarely do they have all the answers, much less a handle on what the questions are anymore. In general, they press on when fatigue is winning the round and weariness is the looming forecast for the days ahead. They jump through hoops and walk a shaky tight rope between worlds different than the ones they once knew when they were innocent little girls.
And yet, flawed as they are, regardless of their shortcomings, it is distinctly certain that mothers care. They stand up for you when others bully or ignore or ridicule or marginalize or misunderstand your intentions. They cheer you on because they know your particular weakness better than most anyone and yet want you to overcome and soar. They know what you are capable of for they saw it in your eyes the moment you were handed over to them, and they will do everything possible to ensure you succeed, willing to pay the highest possible price to get you there.
A mother loves deeply the way oceans overflow with a limitless capacity. Mothers love with a protective arm and a keen eye vigilant for all things dangerous and deceptive. She loves endlessly, even if hardly a drop returns her way. With tenderness and fierceness, a mother pours out love in sacrificial measures for hers is an unconditional, all-encompassing all-together wonderful love.
In the midst of their weakest places mothers learn the trait of humility. When their hearts shatter wide open for their children, mothers draw desperately close to God, develop a dependence on him, and finally realize that their greatest asset is God’s absolute trustworthiness. From the delivery room, to the principal’s office, past the graduation ceremony, through to the wedding festivities, and way beyond it all, the wisest mothers are aware that their ultimate hope lies in developing an unshakable faith in a loving Heavenly Father. And they will do all they can to pass that gift along to the ones he entrusted into their care all those years ago.
King Solomon explained a mother well: “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. 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. ‘Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.’ Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates” (Proverbs 31:25-31).
Elizabeth A. Mitchell
Photo Credit: Paul Westel