It was with shear astonishment that I held my first child – our first child – twenty-eight years ago, and it was with awe and humble amazement that I saw that God had, indeed, given us a precious gift. I saw my Lord and Saviour in a whole new way. It wasn’t just that He had forgiven me of my sins, redeemed my soul and had given me the free gift of salvation and eternal life, never-to-be-separated from God through faith by His atoning death and resurrection, and it wasn’t just that He had blessed my womb, but also that He had thought on me, that He had visited me and had allowed this very imperfect vessel to be used for His glory and His purposes: He had created me to be a mother — a joyful mother of children (psalms 113).
He, in His wisdom and mercy, created me to mother, tend to, train up and be an example to children He would create in my womb. That fact, eleven times over, is completely breathtaking to me. And so, knowing that, I have a very serious charge to keep; I am, in the beginning: the Hands and Feet of Jesus to my children.
I mull that thought over and over. I have failed over and over to keep that charge. I have failed over and over to be what He’s both designed, called and equipped me to be. I’ve closed the door, I’ve hidden in my bathroom, I’ve become absorbed by the gotta do this and gotta do that’s of each day.
I’ve often attempted to do in the flesh what can only be done in and through and by the Spirit of the LORD. I’ve wasted time, wasted energy, wasted talents, wasted resources and wasted His Words… on trivial pursuits — often forgetting I had been given a charge to keep. I had heard the Word and often counted it as words that were simply for knowledge about God and accumulation of knowledge about His Word. Early on, I knew a small bit of the Word and assumed I knew enough to coast on through… but that knowledge was not enough to carry me through (and certainly not to coast on through) for the walk of a Christian mother is not the walk of a proud actress, one who learns some lines and play a part. There’s no sliding into heaven on one’s backside. The walk of a Christian mother is not a coasting, slide — it is, in fact, often a walk on the knees.
So if a mother is to her children, the Hands and Feet of Jesus, what does that look like? How does that work? What do they see? It’s not always so much that I give our children Truth, but that I give them Truth in a package of grace and mercy. O, they need the Truth; for their faith will come by hearing and that by the Word of God (Romans 10.17). The longer I live, the more I see that being the Hands and Feet of Jesus to them is a life of sacrificial mercy; for that’s what true love is: sacrificial mercy. I sacrifice for them – I do for them both what they cannot do for themselves, but what I would want to be done for me as one helpless under the care of another. I think of them as His children – His gifts – His special creation and I look to Him to guide my steps (being His Hands and Feet to them) so that I will walk in the way He would have me to walk so that they will be instructed in the way they should go.
I think of it like this when I pray:
Lord, please help ME instruct them in the way they should go.
Lord, please help me INSTRUCT them in the way they should go.
Lord, please help me instruct THEM in the way they should go.
Lord, please help me instruct them IN the way they should go.
Lord, please help me instruct them in THE way they should go.
Lord, please help me instruct them in the WAY they should go.
Lord, please help me instruct them in the way THEY should go.
Lord, please help me instruct them in the way they SHOULD go.
Lord, please help me instruct them in the way they should GO.
And they will go. Believe me, they will go. In what way will they go? It is sobering and humbling to consider that we have MUCH to do with the WAY they will GO. Will they have been nurtured up in the fear and admonition of the LORD and will I have been sacrificially the Hands and Feet of Jesus to them? Will I wash them and bathe them in prayer? Will I walk and talk with them along the way as I have been instructed to do? (Deuteronomy 6.7) Will I have been mercifully the Hands and Feet of Him to them as I guide them and correct them? Will I have been, in WORD and DEED, in Truth: the Hands and Feet of Jesus by my words and service to them? Will I have been the Hands and Feet of Jesus when I hand them over to Him and say, Not my will but thine be done, Lord?
O, God my merciful Father, will You be my hands and feet as I walk with You and hold Uour children in my life and will You be my words, my deeds, my hope and my strength—for I know I cannot, nor do I wish to, do this job on my own. O, Lord, please use this vessel, please strengthen my frame and fill me that they will only see You in me.