Follow the Leader - Encouragement Café - September 27, 2016

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Follow the Leader
By MaryKay Rath
Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.  1 Corinthians 11:1 NIV

I grew up with 4 siblings.  My father often worked very long hours.  My mother not only didn’t complain; she also worked outside the home to provide a bit of extra income. 

Having come from a family of 12, she was a great cook and a neat housekeeper, an amazing seamstress and devoted wife, extremely creative (probably out of necessity) AND she had a great sense of humor.

Yet, the one quality my mother possessed, and that I admired the most, was a God-given gift of true compassion for others.  She LIVED that gift, showing me by example. 

It did not matter how little we had, there was always enough to share with others.  I tagged along with her as she cleaned a sick neighbor’s home, brought a meal to another, mended clothing for yet another; and she was always quick with a hug and an encouraging word. 

My mother died young, at 47.  Now 30+ years later, I still miss her terribly. 

Yet, even in dying she taught me by example.  It was through her courageous two year battle with cancer, that God began a ministry for me:  serving the critically ill. 

She taught me that it is a true blessing to help someone prepare to spend eternity with God and to not be afraid of death.  She taught me to love and serve, to help others who are hurting and to truly care about people.

Nine years after my mother joined Jesus, God deemed ME worthy to be called “Mother.”  I am eternally grateful.  With my three daughters now grown, I often wonder: 

Did I do it right?  What did I teach THEM?  What legacy have I handed down to MY children?

I am a bit clumsy and don’t always think before acting, so there are many times that I chuckle at myself, almost “hearing” my mother laughingly say to God “Yup, that one’s mine!”  I also hope there is a bit of pride in her voice as she makes that statement. 

“Honor your father and mother” is one of God’s commandments.  I strive to do that daily, even though my parents are now both in heaven.  And when I have finished my life here on earth and enter into eternity with my Savior, I CANNOT WAIT to see my mother and thank her properly… a “thank you” that will never end!

Have you shown appreciation to your mother lately?  What are you waiting for?

Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of mothers who live according to Your instructions.  For those who do NOT, Father, draw them closer to You and lead them in the way everlasting.   Help me to live my life as an example of You to others, serving them as YOU did, loving them as YOU did, and offering grace as YOU DID.  Help me live my life in a way that is pleasing to You AND honoring to my mother and father.  And, Lord, would You please say “hello” to Mom for me today?  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

© 2016 by MaryKay Rath.  All rights reserved.

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Originally published Tuesday, 27 September 2016.