Mother’s Day by Carol Russell

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A Parent’s Perspective
Happy Mother’s Day! A day to remember and be grateful for our mums and
motherhood in general. And if you are a mum, to have a little bit of a self
indulgent day! Eat the last chocolate in the box, expect a cuppa to be made
for you instead of going and making it yourself! You’re allowed today! So,
as a mum myself, I’m going to start off a little self indulgently and tell you
about some of the things I like. I will also tell you a little about our kids
along the way – as it’s mother’s day! But hopefully you will see the reasons
behind it and we will land safely with a scripture and a focus on God so
bare with me.
I like coffee and I like my coffee strong and black. Please don’t give me
decaf! If I want coffee, I want coffee!! I like cake and chocolate. I shouldn’t
eat either but sometimes I do! I really like flowers. In the house, in the
garden and especially wild flowers. Walking in the countryside seeing
daisies, celandines, primroses, shy little violets and bluebells. Just
beautiful! It gives me such pleasure! They speak so clearly to me of God’s
care and attention to detail For the same reason I like sunrises and
sunsets. God’s artistry is breathtaking. We used to know a man some years
ago and when he saw a sunset he’d say ‘my dad did that!’
For Christmas and birthdays my favourite present is sharing the time with
family and friends. A beautifully wrapped present is lovely but being with
the people I really care about means so much more.
I also like to have a coffee and a chat with friends. During this pandemic
period I feel a friend’s starvation! So, just a warning, when restrictions are
lifted expect your phone to ring to arrange a meet up! In the light of that, if
you want to change your phone number think about it soon!
But the thing I like most of all is spending time with our kids. When Phil and
I got married we were not planning on having children and told our parents not to expect grandkids. 17 years later we had Jonathan and 21/2 years
after Jonathan we had Em. Both planned, both wanted. I thought I knew
about love. I was fortunate to grow up in a loving home with a mum and
dad I loved very much. A brother who I loved (most of the time). I fell in love
with Phil and left my parents home to marry and be with him. I knew love!
Then we had kids! I found there was a whole ocean of love I had not even
dipped into.
Having kids, I found out something else about myself. I had control issues!
As babies and toddlers it was ok I had total control. Then they went and
grew up and the control I had over them became less and less. I wanted to
know where they were going and they had to be home by a certain time but
as they got older even that went out the window. At around the age of 9 we
found Em had nut, seed and pet allergies. That was a bit scary. We needed
an epipen with us at all times. If she went to a friend’s house her poor
friends parents had to be told, in detail, about her allergies and what she
could and could not eat! When Jonathan was about 16/17 we found he had
a Brazil nut allergy. He went into full anaphylactic shock. Very scary! It
happened at his girlfriend’s house so I had no control at all over helping
him or even being there for him except to send Phil post haste with Em’s
epipen. There was an ambulance, paramedics the full works. I have also
found that kid’s have a way of getting me on my knees like very little else.
Then Jonathan goes to University. Mum has zero control and is 2 hours
drive away! Em is still at home so I can keep an eye on her at the moment.
And because of that love and wanting to make sure everything is ok with
and for our children, we can be a little protective of them. Now those of you
who know me quite well, you will know that I will avoid confrontation at all
costs – unless you upset my kids! Then the mama bear rises to her full
height! They say confession is good for the soul and to confess your sins to
each other so, to my, hopefully understanding and forgiving church family
my confession is as such!
Jonathan was learning to drive and I was sitting with him on this particular
journey. We were driving along a road with a lot of parked cars on our right
hand side so it was technically our right of way. A large 4 x 4 didn’t agree and kept going. This meant that Jonathan had to reverse to give the 4×4
space so they could get through. It was summer, the vehicle windows were
down and pedestrians were enjoying a quiet walk along the pavement. But
not for long! Both barrels were fired at full volume! There was no bad
language but I was not very complimentary about the other person’s
driving! Jonathan handled the situation very calmly and then proceeded to
calm down his seething mum! But Jonathan is my son who I love and
someone had been inconsiderate towards him.
Why am I telling you this? Well, if I, in my very imperfect way, care so
passionately about my kids, how much more would a very perfect parent
care for their kids? We have a perfect parent in God.
I want to read to you one of my favourite scripture passages. It highlights
the strength of a father but also the tenderness and care of a mum. God
has all the characteristics of a parent, both dad and mum, because we
need them all. The scripture is 2 Samuel 22:2-20 and I’m reading it from
The Voice translation. We will start with a little introduction and then read
v2-7.At last the day comes when David has conquered—at least,
temporarily—all his enemies, and he marks this day by rejoicing. David
composes a psalm of joy to the Lord who is his strong fortress and his
The Eternal is my rock, my fortress, and my savior;
He is my True God, my stronghold in whom I take refuge,
My strong shield, my horn that calls forth rescue,
my tall-walled tower and strong refuge,
My savior from violence.
I call on the Eternal, who is worthy to be praised,
and I have been rescued from my enemies.
The waves of death surrounded me;
the torrents of terror tugged at me.
The sorrows of the grave tightly tangled me;
the snares of death met me.
In my time of need I called upon the Eternal One;
I called to my True God for help.
He heard my voice from His temple,
and my cry came to His ears.
David is in dire straits. He is surrounded on all sides and he can see no
way out. That’s where the enemy likes us to be. Surrounded and penned
in by things and situations that look hopeless. Constrained and confined.
We have David’s example to follow in those times.V7 In my time of need I
called upon the Eternal One; I called to my True God for help. He heard
my voice from His temple, and my cry came to His ears. I love the end of
v7. He heard my voice from His temple, and my cry came to His ears. If
our children cry out we run to them. We are told in scripture to call God
our Father, Abba, Daddy. Why would He not come running to us when we
cry out? God responds to David in v8-20. He doesn’t send an angel tohelp. ‘Hey Michael, go help David. He’s in a spot of bother!’ No! God goes
Himself. It wasn’t a gentle action either. Listen to this! V8 Because of His
great anger, God was angry that one of His kids was being set upon!
Because of His great anger,
the earth shook and staggered;
the foundations of the heavens trembled and quaked.
Smoke billowed out from His nostrils
and devouring fire from His mouth;
glowing coals flamed from Him.
He bent the heavens and descended;
darkness is beneath His feet.
He rode upon a heavenly creature, flying;
He soared swiftly on the wings of the wind.
He placed darkness around Him like a canopy
and made His home in dark watery clouds of the sky.
Out from His brightness,
hailstones and burning coals flared forth.
The Eternal thundered in the heavens,
the voice of the Most High speaking.
He shot forth His arrows and scattered the wicked;
He flung forth His lightning and struck them.
I would not have wanted to be one of David’s enemies on that day!V16-17
Then the deepest channels of the seas were revealed;
and the foundations of the world were uncovered
At Your rebuke, O Eternal One,
at the blast of wind breathed from Your nostrils.
He reached down from above me, He held me;
He pulled me from the raging waters.
David says that ‘God reached down from above me.’ God was above
David’s situation but He reaches down into the mess of it all to hold him.
Do you believe He will do the same for you? Why would He not? You are
His child as much as David was.
David also says ‘He held me!’ When a child is sick or upset there is
nothing more comforting than to be held by mum! No words, just the
tender embrace of love. In this verse we see God holds David. It’s that
‘I’m here. It’s ok. I’ve got this,’ moment. Do you believe that God, your
Father, would say or is saying that to you? ‘I’m here. It’s ok. I’ve got this.’
He rescued me from my strong enemy
and from all those who hated me,
for they would have overwhelmed me.
When my enemies came for me on the day of my destruction,
the Eternal stepped in to support me.
What do we want to do for our children? We want to love, protect and
support them. That is in the heart of God for His children, us, too. The
difference between us and God in parenting skills is God really does
know best. Just like any child, we might not deem it to be the best for us
but God has the end picture in sight. He can see what we can’t.
You will love this last verse! We are coming into land now. The first part of
v20.He led me out onto a broad plain;
I looked up ‘broad plain’ to try and understand what David was saying
and I found this. So beautiful! ‘To be in a broad place is to be in Him,
where all things are possible and supernatural life in abundance makes
for extraordinary ordinary lives. There is no limit to who or what we can
be or do in Christ. Our God meets us where we are so that He can lead
us out and into where He is.’ Don’t you just love God? He meets us
where we are in order to lead us out to Him. Amazing! Why would He do
that? The answer is the last sentence in v20. David says,
He delivered me because of His delight in me.
Do you think that God delights in you any less than He delighted in
David? Absolutely not! God does not do favourites. Each one of us is the
apple of His eye.
So is there something overwhelming you today? David was desperate
and in his desperation he called out to God and God came to him. Not
because of David’s good looks or his strength or his great leadership but
because God delighted in his child. God came to David with the strength
and force of a father but also the tenderness of a mum. God is our perfect
parenting package! Everything we need God has and is in abundance. All
we have to do is call out to Him. He will hear us and He will lead us out
into the broad plain of His presence