A regular conversation in our home is about what other people are doing at that very moment in different parts of the world.
Our kids ask questions such as, “Whose time zones are sleeping right now?” “What are the children in India doing right now?” “Do you think our friends in Scotland are at school right now?” “Who is having a morning coffee right now?”
Perhaps the funniest question to date is: “[sigh] Do any other five-year-old girls in the world have to go sit in time-out right now?”
Talking about things like time zones and geography is a neat educational exercise for the kids. It also serves as a timely reminder to me of the steadfast love of the Lord and how his mercy never ends. All around the world, God is giving and sustaining life to the praise of his grace. His mercy is new every morning, and it’s always morning somewhere.
We need to be reminded of who God is every single day. John Owen reminds us of how the process of sanctification is just that—a process. “The growth of trees and plants takes place so slowly that it is not easily seen. Daily we notice little change. But, in the course of time, we see that a great change has taken place. So it is with grace. Sanctification is a progressive, lifelong work (Prov. 4:18). It is an amazing work of God’s grace, and it is a work to be prayed for (Rom. 8:27).”
Our heart needs to treasure Jesus, whom God appointed as heir of all things, who created all things, and who upholds the universe by the word of his power (Heb. 1:1–3). The little speck of rock that we’re spinning around on amid the vast cosmos is being held together by Christ. It’s good for us to humble ourselves and remember that even in all of its seemingly unsearchable brilliance, the universe is quite the understatement of Jesus’s radiant glory. No one can fathom the scope of his greatness. “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!” (Rom. 11:33; see also Job 26, Ps. 145:3).
In our moments of frustration, pride, and apathy it serves us well to remember that Jesus has been given all authority over everything (Ps. 8:6; Matt. 28:18; Eph. 1:22). Everything was created through him and for him (Col. 1:16). There is no thing or situation or circumstance that is more powerful than he is.
Meditating on God’s character gives rise to great hope in our heart, even in times of terrible trials. The occasion for the prophet Jeremiah’s grief was Babylon’s merciless destruction of Jerusalem. In the midst of unspeakable horror Jeremiah found cause for hope because of who God is:
But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.” (Lam. 3:21–24)
Do you see how God’s love is steadfast and his mercies never end? The eternal God gives us himself as our portion. Our mortal minds cannot possibly comprehend the significance of such a gift.
God’s Grace to Us
When our children are struggling with separation anxiety, we give them reasons to have peace. When we, God’s children, feel anxious that we are separated from him, he gives us indomitable cause to feel his peace.
God’s grace to us in Christ is greater than any frustration that threatens to unravel us. Because Jesus is upholding the universe with his word, we can trust him with any no-good, very bad day.
God’s grace to us in Christ rescues us from idolizing motherhood. Because Jesus is supremely worthy of all our affections, there is no aspect of being a mom that can eclipse his beauty.
God’s grace to us in Christ trumps our prideful self-delusions of I’ve-got-everything-under-control. Because Jesus has authority over all things, we can joyfully humble ourselves under his merciful rule and serve him forever.
God’s grace to us in Christ awakens our calloused, lethargic soul. Because Jesus’s greatness is unsearchable, he is able to revive our lukewarm affections for him as we seek his face. There is but one great place where a mother can find out about the greatness of Jesus Christ: in God’s Word.
Steeping myself in God’s Word to discover the wonders of God’s love toward me—a sinner—reminds me that I have no ground for boasting except in the cross of Jesus Christ (Gal. 6:14). These meditations serve to fuel my worship of Jesus, and inherent in that worship is a joy-driven telling of his faithfulness to all generations (Ps. 89:1). I want my children to “come with me” as I plumb the depths and height and breadth of the love of Christ.
The Long View of Motherhood
The long view of motherhood sees far beyond the third trimester, potty training, and even high school graduation. The long view of motherhood scans the horizon of eternity. We understand that our child may one day be our brother or sister in Christ. We mothers always need to have the long view of life in our minds as we go about our days. God is about his work of creating people who are created and recreated in the image of his Son. We are part of the new humanity, a people whose pattern of life is being transformed by God so that we no longer walk in ways that enslave us in death and futility. The world will one day be filled with the glory of the Lord the way the waters cover the sea! In all our mothering, we look toward that day.
Maybe your day has just started, or it’s well underway, or it’s over and you’re “in the time zones that are sleeping right now.” No matter what time it is, it’s a good time to give thanks to God for his rich mercies that are ever new to us through Jesus Christ and to share your joy with all who will listen.
Our calling as a mother is to press on with the strength that God supplies and make Jesus our own because he has made us his own (Phil. 3:12). We forget what lies behind, and we strain forward to what lies ahead, pressing on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Phil. 3:13–14).
You may have spent a great deal of thought in planning the first outfit in which you would dress your child when you brought her home. A few months ago friends of ours sent invitations to us to join them at the airport to help them welcome their adopted son into their family. Even more intentional and thoughtful than those things, the homecoming our heavenly Father has planned will absolutely blow our minds.
As we treasure Christ in our motherhood, it causes us to be heavenly minded, thinking often of the Lord who has brought us into his forever family and empowering us to live for his kingdom as we serve our family.