One of the sweetest things in the world while mothering little ones is to feel them relax completely in your arms. All tenseness relieved and mere trust in mama. There could have been a severe teething bout throughout the night or a tantrum of the most difficult kinds just minutes prior, yet all that is set aside. Just calmness envelops them.
“For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you” (Isaiah 41:13).
Loosen up mamas, because we have Someone holding us as well. With faith in Jesus Christ, we can surely drop our shoulders, release the furrowed brow and rest. A gathering up of all our chaos takes place and we find ourselves possessed by God, hidden deep in his arms. Just as a child can find relief in our care so we can in God- the One that controls the entire universe and not one thing occurs out of his allowance. He is deeply concerned with our lives, even the mundane events. He is present through it all.
Self-possession is defined as a “calm and self-assured command of one’s faculties, feelings, and behavior.” What a great thing, right? To have that inner serenity…great, awesome, sign me up! However, I would add that a mother experiences this solely through a God-possessed state first and foremost. Such a state is wrought in Christ alone.
• “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works” (Titus 2:11-14).
• “For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one” (Hebrews 10:34).
• “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9).
I consider my tense days, how my worries lay heavy on me like a wool blanket in summer. Or the days when I’m all too aware of my weaknesses and they appear to be drowning me. Then I read Jesus’ promise: “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you” (John 16:7).
We have received the Spirit of God through the saving work of Christ! There are countless verses in the New Testament that command us to walk in the Spirit. And there’s a reason. The Spirit stirs us up with the reality of the gospel, revealing sin and aiding in our weaknesses.
• “So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied” (Acts 9:31).
• But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16).
• “For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:3-4).
• “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God” (Romans 8:26-27).
• “In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:11-14).
Rather than self-possessed, we find ourselves God-possessed and God-aided.
I am certain that we as mothers have our many uncollected hours. Flustered in the tasks and unable to shake the anxiety, we find ourselves in a state of despair. Agitated at the state of our homes, agitated at the state of our hearts in response to it, all we can see is the inner-ugly. Yet, the gloriousness of the gospel is its promise of never letting us down. That doesn’t mean that we will always have a sense of serenity in this life. A broken, sinful world filled with broken, sinful people (including us) simply won’t allow it.
Rather than a how-to, I present a go-to. There is a place of refuge that we can forever run to. We can take our problems there and find the One that holds all the offices we are unable to hold. One that sat as the Judge, condemning his Only Begotten Son, adopting us as his own, and scooping us up in his arms and holding us. Amid the chaos, amid our sin, amid the inner-ugly that beats us down, God the Father holds us in his arms. Fully sovereign, fully able, and fully loving us through Christ. None of our difficulties are outside of his knowledge.
We can rest there unruffled.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is our go-to reality every single day. There’s a reason we must bring ourselves back to the cross on a daily basis. We are not yet perfected. We are being made holy. This process of sanctification is going to be painful. Scripture defines it as so:
• A fight of faith – “Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses” (1 Timothy 6:12); “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).
• An eternal race – “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it” (1 Corinthians 9:24); “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1).
Just this morning I stood at the back door with my son, watching as a procession of clouds left the sunlight only appearing in segments. I find the need to be a light-seeker, making it my joyful task to look for “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6b) even while the clouds are passing. While I was weak, God acted on my behalf and saved me. Light pierced the darkness once and for all in my heart. That reality changes everything. The darkness shall not overcome me. So when I’m mothering the little souls in our household, I go to the gospel. When a stomach bug plagues the oldest and the youngest is teething (this mama’s head spinning) I go to the gospel and find myself held by God. Purchased by God. Loved by God.
Through all our un-possessing, God has taken possession of us. And this taking-up of a child by God cannot be thwarted. The transaction to purchase us for Himself was that of his own Son- beaten, bruise, forsaken. How could we ever believe that God is not holding us still, through all the messiness of this life?
He is indeed. We can stay unruffled in his arms…even minutes after our mommy tantrum or bout of frustration and feelings of inadequacy throughout the night.