"I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write." ~St. Augustine

Thursday, February 25, 2010

More than these

Jesus sits near his friend, Peter, and asks him a hard question. "Peter, do you love me more than these?" We read and can't rightly discern what he is asking about... the fish, the job, the other disciples,... commentaries don't agree. But, does it really matter? Jesus is asking him, do you love me--- more than these?

He sits near me and asks me this question from time to time. Steph, do you love me more than these? Sometimes the question is about the food, the job, my vision or call, the television, my time, my plans, my husband, my kids... Does it really matter what He is asking about? The point is that I am to love Him first, above all else. All else. I am to love Him with all my heart, with all my mind and with all my soul.

I remember hearing a message preached by John Piper on Mother's Day. In this sermon he spoke about a mother's call to suffering. His message was regarding the general call for all mothers, applicable for all moms, ... a call to suffering. I was struck at the time and still am ministered to by his thoughts. I agree. A mom suffers. The suffering can look as little as worry (is worry ever really little?) or as extreme as loss and rejection.

I call it my "mamma bear" response when I worry about my kids, or want to defend my children, or get angry on the behalf of my children. Whatever you call it... it is a difficult set of emotions and can be quite intense. The worry that can surround, or invades, my heart when I think of my children being victimized, for instance... is nothing short of deep and genuine suffering.

Christ asks me, as a mother, Do you love me more than these? Stephanie, do you love ME more than you love your children? Even to write that sentence brings a sting to my soul... Yes, Lord, you know I do! I respond. But, is it entirely true?... No, Lord, help me with my mistrust and unbelief. Ah! The suffering of a mother's soul.

To release. To surrender. To hand them, my sweet children, to my kind and loving Father entirely is not easy. Never easy. It is suffering... It is truly a suffering that doesn't happen once... but over and over again. Yearly... daily. It is never easy, but it is very necessary. This surrender of my children is so very necessary.

Steph, do you love me more than these?

Yes, make this true in my life! Above all else, Lord, may I love you more! Again, today, I surrender my all, my everything into Your loving hands. I know You are good. I know You are trustworthy. I know You are faithful and Your love is never ending. This I trust. This I believe, help me with my unbelief and increase my faith.
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