Hopefully, if you've ever wondered where the celebration of Mother's Day originated, this explanation will satisfy your curiosity. Tomorrow is indeed Mother's Day and florists are working furiously to get flowers ordered and delivered for mothers everywhere. Telephone lines will be jammed with calls from far-flung sons and daughters who wish to remind their Moms once more that they are loved intensely. Through the incredible and mind-boggling spread of the internet, even soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines deployed to the most remote locations on land and sea will be communicating their undying love and appreciation to their Moms. From the most senior Generals and Admirals to the newest Privates and Ensigns, one great unifying factor is that everyone has a Mother or Grandmother who is proudly loving them on this special day!
Notice how the most ferocious looking football lineman or sweat-soaked baseball player (or basketball player, wrestler, etc...), when they are featured by some television sports announcer, will suddenly look straight into the camera and flash a big toothy grin with a bellowed, "Hi, Mom!" Somewhere deep inside most of us is a hallowed place where we store all the good memories and images of our Mothers. Of course, for some, the place is taken by a Grandmother or some other significant woman, but the principle is the same.
During the years I spent on active duty in Army Chaplaincy, I consistently heard soldiers say of their Mothers, "She always believed in me!" There seems to be something in so many of our Mothers that allows them to see far beyond our present with all its limitations and unfulfilled dreams to the great possibilities of our future. More than one of us in the Christian ministry today are there because a Mother never gave up and continued praying long after it appeared to be for naught!
Mothers and Grandmothers pass along a great legacy to their children and grandchildren. A love of learning, a curiosity about life, a respect for others, and a tenacious loyalty to liberty are all qualities that were obtained from significant women at one time or another. The old saying, "She who rocks the cradle rules the world," is truer than ever! No wonder God demands in the Ten Commandments that we are to "honor your father and mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you." (Exodus 20:12)
There is undeniably a legacy of faith that good women leave behind for those in succeeding generations. This certainly was the case with young Timothy in the New Testament. In 2 Timothy 1:3-7, the Apostle Paul expresses his regard and love for Timothy, and he exhorts Timothy to bolder and more earnest Christian service. And.....what does Paul use as his "hook" to motivate young Timothy? He reminds him of the FAITH he received as a legacy from his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice! The Scripture reads like this:
"I thank God, Whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. For this reason, I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline." (2 Timothy 1:3-7)
So, what's your response to be at the beginning of this week? First, THANK GOD for your wonderful legacy received from godly women! If you have been blessed with a grandmother and/or mother of strong faith, thank God for her! Thank her, too! Of all the blessings that get passed down from one generation to another, the eternal gift of faith is the most valuable! Thank God for women who are the unsung heroes of faith for us!
Second, mark it well that now YOU are constructing a legacy that will be passed down to others, too! Whether you are a woman or not --- whether you have children or not --- whether you are married or not --- REGARDLESS, you are building in the lives of others, particularly children, a legacy. Make sure what you pass down includes a strong faith! Make it a faith that is loyal to the house and worship of God, a faith that is lived as well as spoken, and a faith that is Biblical and eternal.
This Mother's Day, renew your commitment to believe and live the Good News of God and those things that do not "perish or fade away." Live so that others will thank God for YOU! That would be the greatest testimony to your own fore-mothers and their legacies to YOU! May Almighty God give you His presence and power to do this in the days ahead.