Thanks, Moms, for your sacrifices

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The plaque read, “Motherhood is a choice you make every day to put someone else’s happiness and well-being ahead of your own, to teach the hard lessons, to do the right thing even when you’re not sure what the right thing is, and to forgive yourself over and over again for doing everything wrong.”

So many words come to mind when I think of moms, like love, patience, fatigue, grace, joy, perseverance and sacrifice. Moms sacrifice sleep, time, quietness and often finances as they pour into their kids and care for them.

Who can measure the influence and impact of a caring, loving, God-fearing mother who places the needs of her children above her own? Everything we become later in life can be traced back to that first teacher and nurturer. What a debt of gratitude we owe!

President Abraham Lincoln said, “I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.”

My mom still prays for me and knowing that reality means so much. She rarely misses hearing me preach online each Sunday and often tells me she’s proud of me.

I’m thankful for the way she raised me and my brothers, taught us right from wrong, and pointed us toward a relationship with Jesus and the importance of supporting His church. Growing up, I thought she was strict, but she was just watching out for us. She gave us four boys guidance, oversight, constant encouragement and a mother’s wisdom. There’s no telling what kind of sacrifices she made in our behalf.

Several years ago, a heroic mother in China sacrificed herself so her children could escape an apartment fire. As the fire intensified, the mother threw a sheet out the window so bystanders could catch her children. She helped her nine-year-old son out and then tossed her three-year-old daughter out the fifth-story window. The children sustained some injuries, but unfortunately, the mother did not survive.

Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13). Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice when He gave His life on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins.

Jesus’ love was sacrificial love, and, in many cases, so is a mother’s. Ray Fowler penned, “I Corinthians 13 for Mothers” to describe Mom’s special love (used by permission):

“If I live in a house of spotless beauty with everything in place, but have not love, I am a housekeeper, not a homemaker.

“If I have time for waxing, polishing, and decorative achievements, but have not love, my children learn cleanliness, not godliness.

“Love leaves the dust in search of a child’s laugh. Love smiles at the tiny fingerprints on a newly cleaned window.

“Love wipes away the tears before it wipes up the spilled milk. Love picks up the child before it picks up the toys.

“Love is present through the trials. Love reprimands, reproves, and is responsive.

“Love crawls with the baby, walks with the toddler, runs with the child, then stands aside to let the youth walk into adulthood.

“Love is the key that opens salvation’s message to a child’s heart. Before I became a mother, I took glory in my house of perfection. Now I glory in God’s perfection of my child.

“As a mother, there is much I must teach my child, but the greatest of all is love.”

The card I’m sending this year reads, “Mom, there are Superheroes and there are Everyday Heroes … And You Just Happen to be Both!”

I’m doubly blessed! God blessed me with a Super Mom and then blessed me with a wife who became a Super Mom! Happy Mother’s Day!

[David L. Chancey serves as pastor of McDonough Road Baptist Church, Fayetteville, Georgia. He is a follower of Jesus, a husband, father, granddaddy, Braves fan, Georgia Bulldogs fan, cancer survivor and runner who has written two books and other content. He desires to glorify God by encouraging and impacting others with his writing. Check out other columns at www.davidchancey.com.]