Have you ever spent weeks, maybe even months, planning for something, only to have it fall flat? Something unexpected cuts into your perfectly laid plans, revealing just how little control you had over it all. You were left helpless and powerless.
That happened to me during a recent holiday. We rented a cabin in the mountains for our family to gather and celebrate Thanksgiving. It was a beautiful stacked log cabin with a stone fireplace and big front porch with a clear view of mountains. The weather was cold and crisp, but sunny and clear. Family drove in from hours away to celebrate with us.
In the weeks before the trip, I planned menus, carefully considering everyone’s unique dietary needs and preferences. I thought through places to go and things to do in which everyone, no matter their age or ability, could participate. There were hikes I wanted to take, restaurants I wanted to try, and gift shops I wanted to explore. Above all, I was excited to spend time with family I don’t often get to see.
Guess what happened? One person after another got sick, including me. I spent the final days of our trip in bed. And I completely missed one of the activities I had planned for us all to do. The holiday that I worked so hard to plan and prepare for will likely go down in the family history books as “Remember that Thanksgiving when we all got so sick?” rather than the trip I planned it to be.
A Mother’s Need for Christ
It often takes an interruption like that for me to remember that I am not in control, that I don’t have it all together, that I am dependent on Another. This is a truth I’ve also had to face countless times in motherhood. In fact, if there’s one thing motherhood has taught me, it’s that I can’t do it on my own. I need help from outside myself.
Motherhood reveals our need for a Savior. No matter the season we are in—early motherhood, childhood years, adolescent years, or beyond—we need Jesus. We need Him to be our strength and wisdom. We need Him to redeem and rescue us from ourselves. We need Him to be our constant in the ups and downs of motherhood. Indeed, the season of motherhood is often a place where the gospel becomes more beautiful to us in richer ways than ever before.
Just what is the gospel? It is simply the good news of who Jesus is and what He came to do. The Reformer John Calvin used the word gospel to refer to all that Jesus did: “How our Lord Jesus Christ came into the world, He went about, He died, He rose again, He ascended into heaven. That, I say, comes under the title ‘Gospel.’”
The gospel tells us that through the gift of faith in who Jesus is and what He has done, we are saved from our sins, we are justified, and we are adopted into God’s family. As His children, we have all the rights and privileges that come with being heirs of His kingdom. This faith also unites us to Christ. Through our union, all that He has done becomes ours. His perfect life is credited to us. The death He died is ours; His resurrection from the grave is ours. Through our union, all the benefits of our salvation are found “in Christ.” This is good news for moms and news we need to hear often.
Turn to the Gospel
Theologians often talk about “preaching the gospel” to ourselves. This simply means reviewing and remembering the good news of who Jesus is and what He came to do. All throughout our day, we turn to the gospel and appropriate what Jesus did in His perfect life, sacrificial death, and triumphant resurrection. We apply those truths to our current circumstances. We find our hope in them because He is our refuge. We rest in them because Christ alone is our salvation.