“’You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called from its remotest parts, and said to you, 'You are My servant, I have chosen you and not rejected you. Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.'” Isaiah 41:9-10
In all generations, when human beings turn their hearts away from God and do not build godly character and act with integrity, there have been chaotic consequences for nations and the history of the whole world. Recently, I recalled one of the first times I felt “panic” about the difficult circumstances of my life. There had been lots of tension in Poland between the Polish workers and the Russians who controlled the country, and I was a young missionary living there--illegally. People had begun to riot and rebel, and Russian tanks began to roll into Warsaw, where we lived. Many of the streets were lined with soldiers and the threat of war was in the paper and on the news every day. I remembered thinking, “What am I doing over here in a time of war? I am not sure if I am ready to die in this conflict just now.” We had been ministering in Hungary and touched the bullet holes in apartment buildings of people we had worked with, where a similar revolt had caused the loss of hundreds of lives.
It was one of the first times I remember coming across this passage in Isaiah: “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” I camped on that verse, pondering and praying it. I resolved that I would stand on it emotionally and spiritually. The Lord was faithful, and we came through the conflict with Him holding our hands.
There have been so many other times and seasons where fear threatened to take away my peace. Yet, I have a pattern of remembrance now. He has been faithful through all the seasons and hard times.
God is still with us. He still loves us. He will always be abundantly faithful. Women are especially designed and equipped by God to dig down deep and bring beauty, faith, peace and hope to nations. A woman is at her best when she is creating life from the richness of her soul. I believe moms are true heroes who will be the bearers of light when shadows threaten to overtake. They weave peace and love in homes where burdens are weighing on the shoulders of husbands. They sing songs of faith in the midst of life’s calamities. They can model a child-like faith and rest in God when they live in the Sabbath rest of His provision, even when physical provision is scant. I believe that moms can be the determining factor in our country during difficult times, to bring courage to families and nations as we wait on God and follow His ways.
In these days of the shaking of moral foundations and volatile uncertainties, in an era of confusion, when biblical motherhood is often disdained or dismissed as irrelevant or unimportant in a post-modern culture, we are ripe for a movement of the Holy Spirit. There is need for an intentional movement of godly women to hold forth ideals, to inspire confidence, strength, faith and good works, and in the midst of all that, to develop deep friendships with other moms. God created women to be the wisdom bringers, gatekeepers, and civilizers of culture through relationship.
My wonderful friend Phyllis is such a joy to me. She is 72, and yet her desire for bringing life and beauty and love to women so burns in her heart that she is always alive, energetic and engaged whenever I see her. She has made her home a haven, so that just to be inside her rooms is a pleasure. There are soothing colors on her walls, pictures, small relics and treasures throughout her home that speak of the many places she has lived and traveled, her love of the Lord, and the great value she places on family. And always there is a candle lit, soft music playing, and a pot of fresh tea ready in case someone might want to come by for a few minutes of fellowship. There is a lovely little bedroom in her basement, just ready for someone who needs to get away–two single beds waiting for the next guests.
Every week for the past nineteen years, she has opened her home to young moms. Her “cuppa” is shared, along with sweet fellowship for the first few minutes, followed by prayer and scripture opened and taught and discussed. Literally hundreds of women have passed through her doors in these studies, including me. Each week, women leave with hope, conviction, ideas, love, and renewed and refreshed spirits.
Where there are real relationships and real love and heartfelt devotion to the Lord, life takes place. God built us for relationship. God built us for love and friendship and intimacy–the desire to be known and still loved.
When we as women experience this kind of relationship and warmth, our whole demeanor is different, our emotional and spiritual cups are filled and we become better at everything–walking with God, loving our children and husbands, bringing beauty in our homes and in reaching out with God’s grace to others. It is what we were designed to do.
If you have the desire to go deeper today, take a moment to complete the reflection and application below:
- ”But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things ...” Luke 10:41 Do you find yourself worried over many things? Make a list. Then write at the top the scripture here from Isaiah ... and throw the list away.
- “Be hospitable to one another without complaint.” 1 Peter 4:9 If you have an introverted personality, it may be difficult for you to even think about purposefully inviting someone into your home! But making the effort is worth it. Ask the Lord if there’s someone you could invite over for a cuppa—and maybe share this little exercise with them, too!