Happy Mother’s Day to all who are moms! We appreciate all you have done and continue to do for your children and in some instances, your grandchildren. We take this time to thank our moms, and those who have played a significant mothering role in our lives, for their selfless dedication and devotion, their advice and counsel, their nurturing and provision for our needs, and most of all for their love.
This past week I have been reflecting on two well-known passages of Scripture in Matthew 5:1-12 and Luke 6:20-26. They are commonly referred to as “The Beatitudes” that Christ presented to the crowds who had gathered on a mountain to listen. Often we think of these character traits as they might apply to someone else we may know or be aware of, but I was challenged through something I was reading to really take time and consciously meditate on the seriousness of what Christ was saying – to me personally! [i] With Mother’s Day approaching, I decided to think of them in terms of my role as a mother, wife, aunt, mentor, and friend. They are indeed characteristics that should be evident in my life, especially as a follower of Jesus Christ.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven…
While this attribute is most often applied to those who are without material or financial means, I believe Jesus meant for us to adopt this character trait in our spiritual relationship toward Him. How dependent am I upon God to meet my every need? Do I really see how destitute I would be were it not for His sacrificial love for me? When I go through suffering, how willing am I to rely on God’s all-sufficiency to carry me through?
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted…
I especially love how Luke phrases Jesus’ words, “Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.” This action can describe any kind of mourning in general whether it be grieving over a loss or tragedy, lamenting over our own spiritual condition, or feeling anguish over the results of evil in the world. Is there any unconfessed sin in my life today, Lord? Do I truly feel sorrow over what I said to that person? How deeply do I care and pray for the family whose daughter’s murderer was convicted just two nights ago?
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth…
The person with this character is gentle, mild, patient, and long-suffering. It is closely linked with humility and grace and a spirit which is tempered. I once heard a minister describe it as, “strength held back”. I like that – because this temperament was also present in Jesus and He had all the resources of His heavenly Father at hand which he could have employed at any time. However, many times He chose to relinquish those powers and yield to the will of God’s plan for redemption. I’m so glad He did! But I am to follow Christ’s example. How willing am I to submit to God’s plan for my life when I can’t understand what He is doing? When was the last time I quietly listened to someone’s criticism and rebuke knowing God heard and would be more honoured by my silence than an angry or bitter retort? When would my gentleness foster healing?
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they will be filled (satisfied)…
I remember when my son was young and outdoors playing with his friends how they would come in gasping for something cold to drink and famished for something to fill their tummies. In his teen years, he and a friend coined the phrase, “I’m sufficiently suffoncified” to describe their satisfaction. This yearning to be filled is a characterization that should define a true believer in Christ. Our desire to daily learn more of God and His Word as described in Psalm 42:1, “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.”
During the past few months, and especially during a few weeks in March-April leading up to two speaking engagements, I have thoroughly enjoyed digging into God’s Word and learning all I could! My soul was being saturated and I felt increasingly filled and satisfied. After my second presentation at our recent ladies’ retreat, I was totally exhausted in every sense of the word – requiring me to take a complete rest for three weeks – but I still felt that deep desire to be hungering and thirsting after God even when I felt too tired to even open my Bible (yes, I’m being very honest). It was during these times that God kept reminding me of His promises I had relied on, verses which had become very special to me, and spirit-filled music that spoke to my heart. God is so faithful to fill and satisfy us when we keep our hearts tuned to Him!
I invite you to join me next week as I continue my reflections on these “be-attitudes”.
Until next Sunday,
P.S. Hope you enjoy my photos of spring flowers in my garden this year!