“Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.[d] 20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Philippians 1.19-21
Yesterday we celebrated our mothers. It was Mothers Day in the USA and we gave thanks for all who have gone before us. For those who birthed us, nurtured us, cared for us and molded us in faith, love and discipline. I’m personally so thankful for my own mother and for my wife who is the mother of my children.
Paul isn’t talking about mothers in this passage but he is talking about life and death. He’s speaking about his own difficulties and how his current suffering for Christ might result in his death. But, he would rather remain alive for the sake of his disciples.
Mothers, through God’s gift, bring life into this world. Sadly, some mothers for reasons I can’t understand, chose not to carry the child and abort the child before birth. I don’t intend to make this a political post, although I am very much pro life, but I believe that as life begins at conception, life is a gift from God. Mothers are so instrumental in delivering this life into the world.
Paul’s struggle between living to minister for the gospel, and struggling to want to be with the Lord, is not unlike our own struggle between bearing the difficulties of the day and enduring until the end. For those mothers who give up a children before birth, they have difficulties they are enduring. I believe we should have compassion on them just as God has compassion on us all. But the gift of life is beautiful, perfect, and the rewards are amazing.
Paul’s desire to be with God was natural. I don’t think he was pondering taking his own life but if it happened, relief would come and he’d be in the immediate presence of Jesus. Mothers have the hardest job in the world. They not only give birth to children but help raise them until adults and beyond. My own mother continues to pour into me and shape me into the man I am today. I’m sure there has been time when she’d rather go and be with the Lord than continue to raise me at times!
Paul says, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Yesterday, as we celebrated mothers, we celebrate life which comes from God and is offered to all. The Lord offers both abundant life today and eternal life to come. In addition, God, as Father, also has attributes as mother especially through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Let’s give thanks for our mothers this week, celebrating the ability they have to bring life into this world, and consider it great joy. Every breath is a gift, every moment a blessing to give thanks to God and walk in holiness until Jesus comes or calls.
“O Lord God, reading this portion of Philippians through the eyes of motherhood is incredible. We often read through a lens of our circumstances and I believe your Word allows us to apply such to our lives and experience. Come now, Holy Spirit, comfort us in motherly ways. You give life to our bones and strength to our bodies. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen