I had the privilege of speaking in Washington this weekend, and though I am tired, I am filled. Filled with God’s goodness at the opportunity to meet so many ladies and receive so much encouragement from other sisters in the Lord, realizing though we are separated geographically, there is a sweet unity that spans across time and space. Heaven is going to be amazing!
The following is an excerpt I shared at one of the sessions:
What is it that God has given us to do? What does the Bible say about mission work? Here’s the kind of ministry Jesus talked about that we should be doing:
“And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”
Has anybody given a cup of cold water to a little one recently? It doesn’t feel important to you? Jesus said it was important. His thoughts are not our thoughts.
Jesus’ last admonition to us was to wash feet. Well in that culture, where everyone wore sandals, the feet was the dirtiest part of the body. Anybody washed some dirty body parts lately?
And so important was the command to feed the hungry, minister to the sick, and clothe the naked, that Jesus said whoever doesn’t do these things will not enter Heaven. If you are a mother, you are neck-deep in feeding the hungry and ministering to the sick and clothing the naked. Because your children would be hungry, sick and naked without your ministry. He’s given that to you. Why do we think of our children’s needs less important than anyone else’s?
And not only that….
You are discipling the nations—fulfilling the Great Commission every single day. I wonder if we would meet the day with more determination and joy if we remembered that? Maybe we should write that on a piece of paper, hang it up–”I am discipling the nations today.”
When you look into the faces of your little ones, it’s so important that you envision them as men and women. Because that’s the finished product being made day by day, moment by moment.
When there is strife, you have the opportunity to point them to God’s Word to see how to handle it. Something that will dramatically shape the rest of their lives.
When there is sadness and disappointment, you take them there for comfort.
When there is fear, you show them the power of love that overcomes fear.
When there is doubt, you bring them to the One who is faithful and give them His promises.
And even in the absence of any affliction, you teach them day by day that their purpose in life is to glorify the Creator. You show Him to them in Creation, in the gifts He’s given them, in the simplest or most profound discovery.
You demonstrate the gospel each day by our relationship with your husband.
This is your mission field. How could we ever think it was less of a ministry than any other ministry?
Another major problem is that we all fight that part of our flesh that wants to do something important, barely able to comprehend the importance of being faithful in the mundane. We struggle with the sin of pride, wanting to be recognized.
Rachel Jankovic says:
“It is easy to become discouraged, thinking that the work you are doing does not matter much. If you were really doing something for Christ you would be out there, somewhere else, doing it. Even if you have a great perspective on your role in the kingdom, it is easy to lose sight of it in the mismatched socks, in the morning sickness, in the dirty dishes. It is easy to confuse intrigue with value, and begin viewing yourself as the least valuable part of the Church.
There are a number of ways in which mothers need to study their own roles, and begin to see them, not as boring and inconsequential, but as home, the headwaters of missions.
At the very heart of the gospel is sacrifice, and there is perhaps no occupation in the world so intrinsically sacrificial as motherhood. Motherhood is a wonderful opportunity to live the gospel. They are your children, they are eternal souls, they are your mission field.”
Another important part of understanding the mission field of motherhood is that it extends beyond your home, quite naturally, and we need to be available for the ministry God puts in our path. Ministry is not something separate from life…it flows out of our lives, and there is a mission field on every side of us.
Our ministry to others will be different in different seasons. In the busiest seasons of motherhood, we may not be able to extend ourselves outward as often as a mother with older children, but we can take cookies to a lonely neighbor, or meals to our neighbors or church family, we can send cards of encouragement, or call a hurting friend. When we invite someone into our home, or maybe offer a kind word to the cashier–all these things are part of our mission field. God doesn’t call us to do extraordinary things, he called us to be extraordinary in the ordinary day–seeing the humble opportunities in front of us and doing them with joy–that is extraordinary.