I read an interesting article recently that spoke to the fact that we go through stages in our lives with varying degrees of interest in maintaining relationships with our parents, especially our mothers. As youngsters, it is difficult to tear us away from our mothers and as time goes on, we gradually lose interest in being as close as we once were. Certainly, by the time we are teenagers, we consider our parents a hindrance to our lives and when we start dating, forget it. We want nothing to do with our parents.
Then, we get married and start our own families. There is rarely time for Mom unless we need a recipe or some help with the family. Parents can become an invasion of our privacy and they butt into our business when we don’t want to be accountable to them any more. Later, as we age, we generally become closer to our folks and once again start to ask for their help – it may be babysitting or even realizing that they aren’t so bad after all – we acknowledge that they look out for our best interest.
Somewhere along the path, we realize that we would be lucky to spend many additional years with Mom and Dad. Dad is usually more unapproachable and Mom is the glue that tends to hold the family together. That’s the way it is with most of the people I have known throughout the years and certainly the way that it works, and has worked, in our family for generations. Somewhere along the path our parents pass on, at least in the normal course of life. Then, we miss them and wish that we had spent more time with them when they were alive.
As I get older, I can’t help but admit that I think about my mother more than I used to. She’s been gone 17 years now and my father passed away 37 years ago. Considering how long Janet’s parents lived, I sure missed out on a great number of years with Mom and Dad. But apparently that wasn’t the plan – at least for my life.
But the most interesting part of the article I read spoke to the fact that when people are on their deathbeds, the number one topic they speak about and think about is their mother. In fact, “Momma” is the most spoken last word on people’s lips as they pass on. I really became introspective when I read that. I tried to remember the deaths of my parents and how they looked to be reunited with their folks. And I know many others whose final thoughts had to do with seeing loved ones lost many years prior.
As Christians, it seemed odd to me that more people wouldn’t think about or speak with God about the impending journey to heaven. Maybe it’s a foregone conclusion that since believers are heading to heaven, the God part is assumed – but I would think that an open discussion of God would be on the lips of His followers as they prepared to meet their maker in person!
Anyway, the article really gave me lots to think about. I found most of the information similar to my own experiences in life. And I can see how people would really be interested in remembering their mothers in their final minutes.
But our thoughts should be on the Father, and then, perhaps, on our mothers. By this, of course, I mean God Himself. It is because of His Son that we get to spend an eternity with the Father and our loved ones who are believers. The verse for this evening is one of the most famous and consoling passages in the Bible. It is used at more funerals than any other biblical passage. I am referring to the 23rd Psalm.
We are told by the psalmist, “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.”
My encouragement tonight is that God wants us to think of Him all the days of our lives, not just in the final moments before we make that journey into eternity. My prayer is that you will enjoy your family and your parents as long as you can. Please don’t wait until it is too late to love them well and make sure that you do everything you can to appreciate them during their lives. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…