(I wrote this for my friend’s (third baby) baby shower and thought it might be encouraging to someone else too. I was encouraged to think through these this and get into my Bible even if in the end a lot of the Bible didn’t get into this devotional! )
A woman was writing on her blog about the last several years of refining fire in her life…that is, motherhood… and I thought, “oh, isn’t that the truth!” Refining fire, motherhood, yup! But then I got to thinking about worship sessions where we sing the song “refiner’s fire” – the condensed lyrics are:
Purify my heart
Let me be as gold and precious silver
Purify my heart
Cleanse me from within
And make me holy
My heart’s one desire
Is to be holy
Set apart for You, Lord
Ready to do Your will
We want to be cleansed from our sin and set apart for the Lord. We want to be holy. We want to be as precious as gold.
But when I sing that song I’m thinking of something exciting…the mission field, the hard hearts of my un-churched friends, my neighbors. Something new, something exciting, and something that makes a difference today. Yea!
What I’m not thinking of is another poopy diaper, my toddler wailing because he wanted yogurt, NOT applesauce or the baby waking me up all through the night. I’m certainly not thinking of yet another day at home with my children, dinner to plan, laundry to do or the pile of dishes that’s never quite finished.
And yet, if we’re seeking a life that will be transformed into the image of Christ, it is exactly our life as mothers that will achieve our transformation. God is blessing you with another child who will enrich your life with moments of great joy…and moments of great frustration…and pretty much every emotion in between. And as you seek to raise that child in the Lord the Lord will be refining you. I was reading a devotional that said, “as your child clings to your legs you will be clinging to the Lord’s legs” and thought that was a great picture of how mothering works. From that same devotional (“Blessed is the Mother who Clings” by Mary E. Hamrick) I thought she did a great job illustrating how as we follow the Lord and are refined by him our children come along and learn from us. She says,
“Blessed is the child whose mom’s delight is in the law of the Lord”, for the child will learn to enjoy reading and studying God’s Word.
“Blessed is the child whose mom puts her trust in the Lord”, for the child will learn that the Lord is trustworthy and faithful.
“Blessed is the child whose mom’s sins are forgiven”, for he will learn about God’s grace and mercy.
“Blessed is the child whose mom’s steps are ordered by the Lord”, for the child will learn to yield their life and direction to the Lord’s guidance.
“Blessed is the child whose mom perseveres”, for the child will learn to press on through tough situations and lessons, never giving up.
As you add another life to your family there will be beautiful moments and hard moments both, but my encouragement to you, when you are in the trenches of daily life with three children, is that God is working in your life – in each circumstance, each diaper, each smiling child and each child that is driving you crazy. God is using it all to transform you into the image of His Son.
Your children truly will grow up and be blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied) to have you as their mother because you are blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied) to have God as your Refiner.