This morning I am feeling a little nostalgic as I watched the last of my six children walk across the stage to receive her high school diploma last night. I am proud of her accomplishment and prayerful for the Lord to continue to direct her into the future He has planned for her. Graduations are a way we celebrate the closing of one chapter in our lives and the opening of a new one. As I reflect on this event I would like to share a few thoughts from a precious passage of scripture.
Jeremiah 29:11-14 gives us some wonderful direction for our lives as we think about moving into a new phase of our lives. These verses tell us: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the LORD, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the LORD, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile”.
Three precious assurances can be found in these verses. The first one is: God has wonderful plans for us. He loves us so much and only desires the best for each one of His children. We need to pursue His plans for our lives instead of our own. The second assurance tell us that God is near us when we call out to Him. He doesn’t just set us down on the path and say to us now do your best and I’ll see you when your journey is over. He is just a prayer away and is eager for us to come to Him daily for wisdom, forgiveness and direction. The third promise He gives brings so much hope. He tells Israel and all of His children that He stands ready to bring us back home when we have wandered away.
For all the graduates: seek God’s direction on your journey through life.
Sitting in my office I am hearing sounds of heavy machinery outside my window. I go outside to see what is going on and discover that various equipment is gathered across the canal. They are busily engaged in constructing a walking and bike path as part of the city’s Punta Gorda Pathways plan. Many people would consider the noise distracting. I for one love the sound of construction. It indicates to me progress is being made. The echoes of the backhoe shout that changes are coming, changes for the better.
When it comes to change, God is always in the construction business in our lives. He loves to pull down, to dig up, to lay foundations and to build positive changes in us. We may not like the destruction of our old ways of life and we may cringe that some of our comfort zones are being removed. But if we are ever going to grow we need to allow God to bring in his heavy machinery. The Bible describes God’s construction crew in 2 Cor. 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new”. Col. 2:7 says that we are to be: “Rooted and built up in Him, and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving”. Perhaps the Lord needs to uproot some deep seated bitterness in our hearts. Maybe we need to start building a bridge to our neighbors who are unchurched. It could be that a fresh coat of paint needs to be applied to our shabby attitudes.
How resistant are you to change? Maybe you like the way you are and the construction sounds irritate you. But I can’t help but think that the Lord of Heaven has some wonderful building plans He wants to initiate in our lives. Go ahead and sign the building permit and let God work His wonderful changes in you. May those construction sounds be like the sweet music of God doing His work.
Various organizations have attempted to summarize the monetary value of the work of a mother in the home. For the 13th straight year Salary.com surveyed more than 6,000 moms to find their top 10 most time-consuming jobs in the home. Some of the jobs were facility manager, laundry worker, janitor, day care teacher, cook and housekeeper. They also mentioned the jobs of psychologist and van driver. They then estimated how much time mothers spent on their "mom jobs". Stay at home moms spent 94 hours, while working moms spent 58 hours per week. Working moms are estimated to deserve $67,435 and stay at home moms would earn $113,586 a year according to the website Salary.com. I can just imagine the mothers out there turning in their time card to their husbands.
Actually the Bible talks about the value of a godly wife and mother in Proverbs 31:10. It says: “Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies”. So how can we ever hope to reward those wives and mothers who mean so much to us? Do we start printing out the checks or start filling a bag with precious gems to give them? That may be impossible but they certainly deserve it. However, Proverbs 31 does tell us a very important reward that we can give to them. Verse 28 says: “Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her”. How often do we rise up and bless our mother? Do we call her and let her know that she is important to us? Do we do things for her and show our love for her more than once a year? Do we bless her by spending a little time with her or giving her an unexpected gift? Men, do we regularly bless and praise our wives? Do we let them know how much we appreciate all they do for us and how their worth to us is truly above rubies?
Mother’s Day is upon us. Let’s be sure to reward our wives and mothers with the
praise they so deserve. If we would be able to pay our mothers, most of the ones I know would probably spend the money on their kids or their grandkids anyway.
Pastor Stultz has been writing this weekly devotional for many years. In 2009, he published a compilation of devotionals in book form, also called Moments of Meditation