One day, a little girl is sitting and watching her mother do the dishes at the kitchen sink. She suddenly notices that her mother has several strands of white hair sticking out in contrast to her brunette hair. She looks at her mother and inquisitively asks, “Why are some of your hairs white, Mom?”
Her mother replied “Well, every time that you do something wrong and make me cry or unhappy, one of my hairs turns white.”
The little girl thought about this revelation for a while and then asked, “Momma, how come all of grandma’s hairs are white?”
Author Kate Samperi shares this insight into motherhood. She writes, “Before becoming a mother I had a hundred theories on how to bring up children. Now I have seven children and only one theory: love them, especially when they least deserve to be loved.” The power of love is a life changing experience, and often our Moms are the best teachers of loving others that we have in life.
Jesus said this about love. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34). It is noteworthy that love is the only emotion we can have that can be commanded. That alone gives us an amazing understanding of how powerful love is.
Most people will agree that the best definition of love is found in I Corinthians 13:4-8, which says, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
What do we do when our human love fails? Pastor Lee Strobel shares this story of a woman who wanted to be baptized. Each person was to put a few sins on a piece of paper to be placed on a cross next to a baptistery to remind them that Jesus paid the price for their sins. Then turn and come to the pastor to be baptized.
One woman wrote a letter Pastor Strobel explaining what that moment meant to her. She writes, “I remember my fear. In fact, it was the most fear I remember in my life. I wrote as tiny as I could on that piece of paper the word abortion. I was so scared someone would open the paper and read it and find out it was me. I wanted to get up and walk out of the auditorium during the service, the guilt and fear were that strong.
When my turn came, I walked toward the cross, and I pinned the paper there. I was directed to a pastor to be baptized. He looked me straight in the eyes, and I thought for sure that he was going to read this terrible secret I kept from everybody for so long. But instead, I felt like God was telling me, I love you. It’s okay. You’ve been forgiven. I felt so much love for me, a terrible sinner. It’s the first time I ever really felt forgiveness and unconditional love. It was unbelievable, indescribable.” (taken from Lee Strobel, “Meet the Jesus I Know,” Preaching Today tape no. 211).
Do you have secret sin that you wouldn’t even want to write down on a piece of paper out of fear somebody might open it up and find out? Do you believe the power of God’s love can free you from the shame and guilt of every sin? Have you asked God to forgive you of your worst sins? Have you forgiven yourself? Jesus loves each of us with a love that sets us free from all sin. I hope you will celebrate that this Mother’s Day.
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