“O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds. So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.” (Psalm 71:17-18)
On Mother’s Day sermons about being obedient to and thankful for your mother will abound, as they should. We are seldom as grateful as we should be for the sacrificial love that our mothers gave to us, and our children are often not as thankful as they should be. However, there is One who deserves our thanks more than our mothers or us—the Lord Jesus Christ who makes women mothers and places the orphans in families. As an older single Christian, I am especially aware of the way God raises up mothers for the childless and gives single women chances to express their motherly instincts. The Lord gave me many opportunities to show maternal love to children when I was serving with The Rafiki Foundation in Africa. I appreciated the fact that I never had delusions that the children “belonged” to me, a common challenge for parents. Since children never “belong” to us, however, should we expect them to praise God or us? Let us hope they glorify their heavenly Father more.
This Mother’s Day I want to turn the tables. Let’s embrace the call of Psalm 71 for us older Christians—to follow the example of the psalmist who still proclaims God’s deeds, might, and power to the younger generation, and wants to continue doing so. Rather than focus on what might be said to or about us, let us use our tongues to give God the praise and glory he deserves for helping us to minister to younger Christians in our lives. Have you been taught from your youth, enabling you to teach your children and grandchildren? Praise God by telling them what he has done for you this Mother’s Day. Did God fortify you physically or spiritually when you were at the end of your strength? Share these stories with your family, to build them up in the faith.
There was probably a time when you were lost and confused in unbelief. But God adopted you, humbled you in your sin, and gave you the faith to believe in the sacrificial atoning death of Jesus Christ. Will you share your testimony with others today, rejoicing in the motherly love of our God, who wants to shelter us under his wings? (Psalm 36:7) Each day offers us many opportunities to speak wisely by praising God. Family get-togethers, when you may be the one being honored is a perfect time to turn everyone’s attention to Jesus Christ. “Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.” (Daniel 12:3)
How will you share today as you celebrate Mother’s Day? Will your words reflect the wisdom of the psalms? “Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell [you] what he has done for my soul.” (Psalms 66:16)