“If I be his child, then I have a portion in his heart here, and I shall have a portion in his house above.”- Charles Spurgeon
Mark Lucas and I started our lifelong friendship during our freshman year at Concordia- River Forest. I soon learned that meant assimilation into his immediate family- Mama (Annabelle), Papa (Clarence), sister Hope, and toy poodle Creamy (Cream Puff). Always the gracious listener, Mama’s unwavering support and encouragement for her biological and “adopted” sons’ calling to the teaching ministry blessed us beyond measure. Henry Ward Beecher once said, “The mother’s heart is the child’s schoolroom. Jesus was fully present in Mama’s heart, steadily manifested through the sustaining grace that filled her soul. Even though she went to be with the Lord in 2002, Mama’s heart is a daily reminder of God’s healing and abundance.
Mark Batterson (The Grave Robber) writes that whatever situation we find ourselves in, God has us right where He wants us to be. Taking offense at the injustice of our ministry downsizing or vocation loss and the resultant material/spiritual devastation ultimately is counterproductive. Mary DeMuth points out that “we are not built to carry offense. God designed us for joyful freedom.”
This joyful freedom only is possible through God’s sustaining grace. At those times when life is hard and everything is falling apart, God heals our souls and steadies our hearts. Max Lucado beautifully defines sustaining grace:
“Sustaining grace meets us at our point of need and equips us with courage, wisdom, and strength. . . . Sustaining grace promises not the absence of struggle but the presence of God.”
God is writing our story. He knows not only how it works out, but also where everything leads and what it all means. As we enter fully into God’s presence, His sustaining grace enables our hearts to be open and complete. Mary DeMuth (The Wall Around Your Heart) offers these words of encouragement:
“. . . cultivate open hearts to Jesus and the people He populates our lives with. To be open is to be anticipatory. It’s to have levav-shalem, a Hebrew term that means ‘complete heart.’ In order to have complete hearts, we must begin from a place of healing and abundance.”
Thank you Lord, for Mama’s heart.