The Gift of Goodness
Have you noticed how weeds tend to grow faster than healthy plants? In our yard, we have been watching our grass fill in with each season. But the rains of spring and hurricanes of autumn scatter seeds of all variety of weeds that threaten to overtake our soil with their fast growing roots. The longer you leave the weeds to grow, the stronger their roots become.
God grants mothers the gift of His goodness in order to defeat and conquer the weeds that threaten to infiltrate our hearts and minds. God knows full well that we will face trials, tribulation, and negative influence by the world; but He provides a way for our faith to take solid root and grow and flourish through His goodness and His good plan.
In His goodness, God knew that mothers would face trials and tribulations. In a parable in Matthew 13:4-6, Jesus teaches about a sower. Some seeds fell along the path and were snatched up by birds or did not grow because there was no depth to the soil. In motherhood, these birds that might threaten to snatch away Biblical truths from us might include sleepless nights with infants, comparison with seemingly “supermoms” on social media, or misbehaving children causing us to think we are failures. We may feel like we have no depth to our soil because we cannot have a quiet time because there are no quiet times in our homes. The chaos and crazy may feel overwhelming and our time in the Word and prayer might get pushed aside. Jesus has encouraged us in these seasons saying, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33). God’s gift of goodness to mothers is the promise of victory in Jesus in the midst of trials and tribulations.
In His goodness, God knew that mothers would experience worry and worldly ambition. Again in Matthew 13:7 and explained in verse 22, Jesus teaches about seeds that fell among thorns and were choked as they grew. He explains this analogy as people who get caught up in the world and the lure of riches. For moms, thorns may include dressing our children in designer clothes or sending them to the most prestigious schools. Thorns may include idolizing the perfect postpartum body or envying the positions of other moms, whether working or staying home. We may feel like we cannot possibly do the job God has given us or that we cannot possibly be the mom that God has created us to be. But in Mark 10:27 it says, “Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.’” This comes from the story of the rich young man and Jesus. The rich young man would not give up his great wealth to follow Jesus. What we refuse to give up in order to follow the Lord becomes a thorn that chokes His Word and His calling over our lives. God’s gift of goodness to mothers includes equipping them and providing for their needs to accomplish His good work.
In His goodness, God created a way for mothers to be successful and fruitful in their homes. In Matthew 13:8, Jesus teaches that some seeds fell on fertile soil and were able to produce fruit. This is the heart of the issue. God has given us His good Word to redeem and restore our sinful natures. He has provided us with His truth to prepare our hearts and minds for the work of motherhood and to refresh our weary souls in the everyday MOMents. To cultivate our soil, let us remember the command in John 15:4-5, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” Are you sowing the goodness of the Lord into your days? Are you watering your soil with the living water found in the Word of God? Are you allowing the warmth from the Son to cultivate growth and fruitfulness? God’s gift of goodness to mothers is His faithfulness to produce fruit in our lives as we grow in Christlikeness by abiding in His word.
In motherhood there are many weeds that threaten to steal our joy and rob us of a completed mission. So often we allow the birds or the thorns to hinder our growth. Let us instead saturate our soil with the Word of the Lord and trust in Him to accomplish His purposes in and through our lives. The Lord is good and He showers His goodness on mothers to raise little disciples. “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever.” (Psalm 107:1).
*For the sake of space, I did not write out the full passages from Matthew 13 with the Parable of the Sower and the explanation to the disciples. I invite you to read this yourself and pray for the Lord to speak to your heart on areas to cultivate and abide in Him more deeply.